Monthly Archives: January 2011

Jenny Lee Fowler – Silhouette Artist

If Edward Scissorhands had a sister then it would surely be American artist, paper cutter and silhouette creator Jenny Lee Fowler. What started a decade ago as cutting simple snowflakes to decorate her windows and celebrate the snow fall, slowly grew and got more elaborate in those cold winter months.

Snowflake by Jenny Lee FowlerFrom there the snowflakes took on the form of old illustrations from books. The natural progression was into creating silhouettes. The most traditional style is the classic black card hand cut and placed on a white background.Custom Silhouette by Jenny Lee Fowler

It has been around since the 18th Century. It is alleged that the style and indeed name, rose in popularity & fame during the Seven Year War (1756-1763) when the French finance minister Etienne de Silhouette changed the tax laws to help raise funds for the war and for the first time started to tax the wealthy.

Traditional 18th Century Silhouette

His system meant that you would be taxed on external signs of wealth inc servants, door & windows and luxury goods. At the time, getting your portrait painted was considered a luxury good and so you would be taxed accordingly. Because he enjoyed making cut paper portraits, his name became eponymous with this style (and indeed anything that was done cheaply). Prior to photography this was the cheapest way to record a person’s appearance.

Leaf Silhouette Portraits by Jenny Lee Fowler

Silhouette on Birch by Jenny Lee Fowler

 

Jenny Lee Fowler has a unique gift, her work with leaves and birch bark is astounding. The skill required to work free hand as she carves out the image is amazing. What captivates me, is that her pared back version captured the essence of each person and starts to tell a real story. There is a real old world charm about them and they are very Wabi-Sabi. I think they make such a unique statement when mounted on the wall and add a real timeless elegance to the space.

The Framed Silhouette on the Kitchen Wall by Jenny Lee Fowler

She does do custom work and her beautiful work is available to buy on Etsy.

Queensland Floods – The day after tomorrow…

Brisbane by night

It has been a long week for everyone but from out of the mud, Brisbane is beginning to reappear. I know that it will take time to rebuild and longer to get over what has happened. I am sure for many it will be some time before they can truly let go and move on. Continue reading

Queensland Floods – The Aftermath

A Homestead near Rockhampton during the Flood (photo by Rob Maccoll)

 

As anyone who has seen the news of late and after weeks of torrential rains, floods have swept through Queensland taking lives, displacing untold families and wreaking havoc in their wake. Even now it is hard to come to terms with the damage that has been wrought to the area. Continue reading

Woolly Pockets

When a client sat looking forlornly around their apartment living room and said “I just want a garden” my heart sank. It was my fault for asking what they craved most. I looked out of the living room and onto the balcony and realised that pots were going to eat into their precious space. What I needed to do was to stop thinking horizontally and find something a bit more vertically inspired. If only walls had pockets…

Wally the Woolly Pocket

And that’s when I met Wally. Continue reading

Spun by Thomas Heatherwick for Haunch Of Venison

 

To the casual observer it would be hard to imagine how a timpani/kettle drum could become the inspiration for the evolution of a chair.

The Kettle Drums used in "Trooping the Colour"

 

Thomas Heatherwick is a master at challenging the rules of convention. When he created the Spun chair for Magis he created something that when upright, appeared to be a sculpture yet only when lent on its side, did it become a chair. For his second solo exhibition at Haunch of Venison in London he set out to revolutionise the design. Continue reading