Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
I had the incredible opportunity to work in the Donghia Furniture and Textiles Design Studio for several years with the design legend John Hutton. John was relentless in our practice of always using the “Golden Mean” or “Ratio” in the basis of our designs. Which I still incorporate in my Otium designs.
Anziano chair from Donghia
Although the "Golden Mean" is a complicated concept, I will try to simplify it to a basic outline.
The "Gold Mean" is an “Irrational mathematical constant,” or a mysteriously emotional aesthetically pleasing proportion that has kept philosophers, artists, architects, designs and mathematicians captivated for centuries. The "Golden Mean" exists perfectly in nature as well as human produced designs, the Pyramids, Taj Mahal, Parthenon, to name only a few.
In nature there is an endless representation but, the two that stand out in my mind are the Shell (think beach) and the seed formation in a Sunflower. The "Golden Mean" also apears naturally in viruses, leaf patterns, human anatomy (as illustrated by Leonardo da Vinci), DNA, cells, you get the idea.
Leonardo da Vinci
Mounted shells from Andrew Martin
Mechanical shell from Andrew Martin
Mathematically the “Golden Mean,” is the SUM of the two proceeding numbers. 1 plus 2 equals 3; 2 plus 3 equals 5; 3 plus 5 equals 8; 5 plus 8 equals 13; and so on.
Construction of a golden rectangle:
1. Construct a unit square (red).
2. Draw a line from the midpoint of one side to an opposite corner.
3. Use that line as the radius to draw an arc that defines the long dimension of the rectangle.
Instructions by. Joel Holdsworth
How does this relate to us? I am glad you asked.
Monday, August 24, 2009
I recently spent a lovely long weekend in Sonoma County, California. I was there for a wedding at Grace Ranch (I am designing a chandelier for the barn), but found plenty of time to steal away for a few wine tastings, some wonderful meals and lots of laughing with old friends.
Inspiration for the Grace Ranch barn chandelier
My two favorites wineries on this trip were Merry Edwards Winey and Iron Horse Winery. We found ourselves in the Russian River area of Sonoma and quickly learned it was the ideal growing conditions for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes so we loaded up with a few bottles. We were also very pleased to find that Iron Horse produced a 2006 Petit Verdot with 100% Petit Verdot grapes from the Alexander valley, which I was told is pretty rare.
Hopefully these bottles will hold me over until I can get back to Clo Wine Bar and shop, my favorite local wine haunt here in NYC. I am also working on a collection of wine buckets, wine stoppers, glasses, etc to be sold through Clo. This collaboration was inspired by the owner of Clo seeing the Dexter glasses I did for the dining room designed by the spirited Interior designer Amy Lau, at last years Showtime Television and Metropolitan Home’s showhouse in Gramercy Park.
For meals in Sonoma County we were a little less adventurous in our travels, much to our surprise, finding out that our lunch destination and our dinner destination were directly across the street in the quaint one block town of Graton. Trust me I am not complaining. Lunch was at Willow Wood Market Cafe, a sun filled retro feeling small town restaurant, but incredible food and for Dinner we were at Underwood Bar and Bistro, with it's energeticly fun environment, attentive but relaxed servers complete with a Bache ball court in the back courtyard and food to rival any NYC or SF restaurant. Although we had a lovely Grenache, Quivra, Dry Creek Valley , '07, with lunch I was ready for a cocktail at Underwood and how could I resist a Lulu cocktail.
Franky, the Dog of Honor