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Design

The Ceramics Design Champion

November 15, 2011


Our judges met at Flatbush Farm last week to take a look at the five finalists from the Ceramics Design Challenge.


Alice Goldsmith, known for her handmade flatware series, and Jono Pandolfi known for his iconic Pillow Plate joined Product Designer Sarah Stenseng to look at some very impressive work:

Kathy Gorg’s Calla Lily collection won the customer vote.

Jennifer Fisher’s Pocket Planters charmed everyone with their bright colors and potential to become tiny terrariums or jewelry trays.

Romi Hefetz’s Mini Bowls stacked perfectly in the judges hands and showed off beautiful glaze work.

Kyla Toomey’s Button Series wowed everyone. Nobody could believe how much work and detail went into making each woven mug or button bowl.

But Tasha McKelvey’s Birdie Mini Dish stole the show.

The judges agreed these handmade dishes were great gifts for moms, aunts, grandmas, sisters, daughters and best friends who dye their hair pink and collect kitschy relics of the fifties. (That last idea was from Judge Alice Goldsmith.)

The judges were particularly impressed with the dish’s construction. Each dish is handpressed with a weathered piece of antique barn siding to give it a look of rustic wood. Each hand-sculpted bird is glazed separately and then added to the lip of the dish.

While the judges wished the birdie mini dishes were a bit larger, they all agreed that Tasha McKelvey’s creative work was a perfect fit for UncommonGoods.

Tasha wins $500 plus a chance to sell her dishes at UncommonGoods. Sign up to be notified when her dishes become available!

And let us know– should we bring in Tasha’s mushroom dish as well? Leave a comment to let us know what you think.

The Uncommon Life

A Million Trees

October 28, 2011

UncommonGoods joined up with Million Trees NYC again this week to plant trees in Marine Bay Park.

Here’s Luis, posing with his very own sapling:

According to our HR assistant Melanie, the UncommonGoods team helped plant 1,400 trees!

The Uncommon Life

Why Letterpress?

October 26, 2011

If you haven’t heard yet, we’re hosting a holiday card challenge this year! Entries are due November 11, and you lucky shoppers, will be able to pick up fabulous handmade holiday cards this December to go along with your holiday orders.

Why handmade?

Today, everything’s going digital, but in the world of cards and print, we’re seeing a resurgence in traditional print techniques like letterpress, offset lithography and screen printing.

We want to celebrate this revival of one-of-a-kind handmade cards, and offer you the chance to send a really special season’s greetings to the folks you love. Printing cards on a letterpress, or using any traditional printmaking technique, is labor intensive. But when you hold a one-of-a-kind card in your hands, you know the work has paid off.

Toronto based Trip Print Press was featured on NOTCOT last week. Here’s a bit more about what they do.

Trip Print Press & The Making Of FreshSox from Brought To You By … on Vimeo.

Know a printmaking enthusiast? Spread the word, and tell everyone you know: holiday card entries are due November 11!

Gift Guides

Gifts for the birds

October 19, 2011

‘Tis the season to spread your wings, with a flock of new gifts from UncommonGoods.

Birds make music during the day, keep watch at night, and are the animal symbol for rebirth. What a great way to breathe life into your personal style!

Go bird-watching:
Perched Parrot
Spiky Owl Balancer Stake
Parent Nestling Necklaces
Nest Egg Necklace
Felt Birdhouses
Hot Air Balloon Hummingbird Feeders
Recycled Glass Night Owl Nightlight

Or sign up for a free holiday catalog with other gift ideas.

Design

Quiz: What’s Your Design Style?

October 4, 2011

Sure, over the years you’ve developed your unique fashion sense.

But do you know what your interior design style is? These six images represent the work of some of our favorite pottery and ceramics designers. Pick the one that best matches your aesthetic, and see if you can match each picture with the designers and their signature styles, listed below!

Match each image with the corresponding description. Need a hint? Click on each artist to see more of their work.

1. Sleek and modern (Elan McPherson)
2. Organic and sculptural (Daina Platais)
3. Layered and mysterious (Whitney Smith)
4. Quirky and natural (Michael Terra)
5. Textural and timeless (Alice Goldsmith)
6. Subtle and clever (Jono Pandolfi)

So what’s your design style?

The Uncommon Life

Say What?

September 29, 2011

Shana Tovah! Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. We blow the shofar (ram’s horn), eat apples and honey as well as a ton of other food (like on all other Jewish holidays). Copywriter Nina Mozes offers tips for how to celebrate the first day of the new year with a thoughtful card.


Turns out, it’s pretty impossible to write a Jewish card without being stereotypically Jewish.

For example:

Happy New Year. May this year make you feel like complaining only a little bit.

That’s the card I’ll be giving my parents. Here’s the one I expect from them:

Happy New Year. Maybe this year will be a good year and you’ll make lots of money. And then you can move out of the house, marry a nice doctor and give us grandchildren.

If that’s too over-the-top for you, try a punny joke:

A congregation member walks into synagogue and asks the rabbi, “How is your New Year going?” The rabbi replies, “Shofar, sho good.

Thanks. That one’s all me.
(Look, I admit it’s not Torah-fic. I know better than to gefilte fish for a compliment.)

Have a happy and a healthy!

Have your apples and honey with a twist:
Giro Apple Slicer

If you get the clip, the money will come:
Yiddish Proverb Money Clip

No one says no to a little spiritual bling:
Shalom Necklace

Design

Wesla Bay Weller & the Cymbal Pendant

September 28, 2011

On Monday, judges met at ReBar in Dumbo to pick a winner from the 5 finalists that you chose in the Uncommon Jewelry Design Challenge.

From September 6 through September 16, you all left more than 5,000 comments and 10,000 votes for your favorite pieces. And there’s no doubt in my mind that the five finalists are all winners– having earned your enthusiastic support!

But in the end, we could only pick one design to receive our grand prize– $500 + a vendor agreement.

I’m so pleased to announce that Wesla Bay Weller’s clever Upbeat Cymbal Pendant is the grand prize winner.

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