This week, Naomi and me have received a shower of inspiration from a group of artist friends who are now taking the online course ‘Make Art That Sells’ at Lilla Rogers Studio School. They have all worked on an assignment for plate decoration and… the results are diverse and all exuberant and outstanding!
I love this type of decorations! In the 80’s, I earned a life for a while creating ceramic pieces. I took a course on typical Spanish ceramics decoration and worked on pottery, plates and tiles decoration. This awakened my love for what in my country is a long tradition. I specially love the Spanish styles from Talavera, Fajalauza and Teruel, which pieces you can positively see at every Spanish home.
After the conquest of America, the Spanish styles influenced the ceramics in South-America, especially the style from Valencia. Many centuries later, these decorative styles were a huge inspiration to Mary Blair, The Eames, and other mid-century modern artists.
Here are a few samples of the terrific work from several artists at Lilla Rogers Studio School. I love the Mediterranean and Hispanic feel from all of these works, the colorful vibe and spring exuberance. They make me feel like cooking paella on a sunny Sunday morning!
This week, Naomi and I were watching at Archive.org an amazing documentary from 1956 by cartoon artist John Sutherland Productions. “Your Safety First” is a commission from the Automobile Manufacturers of America and it portrays the history of cars from the past to the future in the year 2000. Of course, the car is portrayed as an irreplaceable part of our lives.
Just like other futuristic cartoons at the time, such as The Jetsons and some Disney short films, the way that our present times are portrayed is pretty funny. Some things are prophetic and other couldn’t be more wrong. Here are a few examples:
- 4 hour work day
- Computerized homes
- 3D televisions and newspapers with sense of smell
- Intelligent cars that drive themselves
- A social media driving system to communicate between vehicles
All this looks pretty cool, I mean, it’s great that we can now enjoy modern technology. But Naomi and I keep wondering if humanity is developing the new possibilities in the right direction…
We are aware of how much harm the automobile industry has caused to American society. To increase the consumption of oil, cities have been designed and re-designed, taking away the neighborhood life and shopping facilities from people, making walking habits almost impossible in most cities. For a European person like me, who is used to doing all the shopping in 1/2 mile radius and talking to all my neighbors and shop vendors, this way of life is a disgrace.
Hopefully, today things are starting to change. Young generations are turning their backs to the car. They realize that the American dream of freedom based in mobility is not for them and retrofitting suburbia is a reality.
Naomi and I are not against modern technology, that’s for sure. But we think it could serve us in a more organic and humanistic way. It needs to be in tune with what the potential of humanity is: a future based in the synergy between humans and nature.
For this reason, when we started Epokka we decided that we wanted to create products that would keep us in touch with our inner core. Electronics devices can be very handy for some things, but there’s nothing better than paper and pencil to concentrate on the creative experience without interference and distractions.