Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Cocktails

My first ever Cocktail Table is complete.

I got it back yesterday from the sandblaster. I am putting the prototype up for auction in the 2011 Design Trust Art + Design Benefit Auction that Cindy Allen, the Editor of Interior Design magazine, organizes every year. This small table (14" x 14" x 17") will complete any room. Look for it on their website soon (I'm a little bit late with my entry), and bid on it there, or you can attend the event and bid live. It is a fun evening.

There will be more Cocktail Tables to come, they are part of my REALITY work. In this series, instead of casting from life, I re-use the vestiges of our lives. The Can Clusters I created a few years ago are a similar idea. Waste transformed through order and finishing.

To me, these liquor bottles connote good times, some may see danger and sadness in them, others may relate to the particular brands, or just to the iconic nature of bottles in general. Whatever the association, meaning is latent decoration. The beauty, however, is not fully tapped until the artifacts are ordered and finished. In a batch of random bottles there are many sizes and shapes so each one of these pieces will be unique. This table for example employs all rectilinear bottles and I was amazed at how this selection went together as a perfect square. I had them sandblasted to get them one step away from reality.

There is much potential in trash. These bottles are extremely structural, reuse redeems the energy that went into making them, and prevents the energy needed to recycle them. However, reusing waste is not as easy as it sounds. Production is much more difficult than I had imagined. For the moment, my cocktail tables will all be unique creations. Of course, not every bottle will do, so I dumpster dive at our local recycling center selecting only clear liquor bottles, clean them, and arrange them. They are
sandblasted and UV glued together. The tops and bases are solid virgin glass. I have always been a proponent of mixing reused and new. Silicone stoppers and bumpers complete the table.

Friday, October 21, 2011

National Design Awards 2011

I Attended the National Design Awards last night and it was feeling very "establishment."                                                                                                                                   

The room was fun, designed by David Stark (again), and I sat at a cool table. Chris Hacker (L below) hosted. He is a friend and one of the best art directors I have ever worked with (Aveda, J&J, Steuben, Warner Bros). In addition to friends and colleagues he invited his 95 year old father, who was the star of the evening. 

Congratulations to all of the winners, but the ceremony was long-winded and it seemed like the big guys took over this year. I know, where would we be without the big guys, but some years there are a few underdog winners too. Natalie Morales hosted and Sigourney Weaver presented an award, so there was some star power in the room. Mathew Modine presented one of the last awards and commented on how dry the room was. 

One cannot be too judgmental, it is a charity event and there are probably a whole host of forces at work that I will never understand, but it is the National Design Awards! Where was the design? Where were all of the designers? We need to shake this party up.

I did run into my friends from the Corning Museum of Glass. They had made the award. It is pretty beautiful, check it out here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I love this sh*t

I discovered an amazing new product. Gorilla makes a super glue that delivers on the promise. Incredible strength and speed. 

And the cap really works to keep it unclogged. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pig Safety

Got this email the other day from my friend Lisa Roberts of My Design Life:

"Hi Harry, I gave my TV producer Sara Baxter your pig as a thank you for the end of the TV series. She sent me this photo on her way to work. Thought you might like to see it. xo Lisa"

So I just wanted to shout out to Sara and thank her for putting safety first.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Foodie NYC

Last night was a beautiful night and my friend Cathy suggested we visit Madison Square Eats, the food trucks at Madison Square Park.

The moonlit ambiance was great, as was the lobster roll, but before we could decide on a second course all of the trucks shut down. So we headed over to Eataly and ended up getting a table at Birreria, their open-air, roof-top sensation. It has been packed all summer with tourists, but it only took a few minutes to get a table at 9pm on a Tuesday in October. The design is very European beer hall, but it makes good use of red, one of my all-time favorite colors. Unfortunately they had the retractable roof closed.

My food was perfect. I had two salads including this one that is composed of cooked and raw vegetables. It was a feast for the eyes until I dug in, and then it became a complex mix of flavor and texture. Yum.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thank You Mr. Jobs ...

Found this pic of a very swarthy Steve Jobs standing on the moon with my first computer. My Apple II and my Epson computer (zipping away in the early morning) got me through my Poly-Sci degree at Alfred University.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Another pig spotting ...                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Our friend Mari Balestrazzi at Morgans Hotel group was visiting a factory and the CEO has a collection of 1500 pigs, including ours in gold. Unfortunately right next to our Bank in the Form of a Pig is one of the most offensive ripp-offs I have seen on the market to date - the silver boar. I first saw it in Paris a couple of years ago. Yes, it is a boar, with teats, and I don't think it is a bank, but come on, it  looks like they modified ours. I hate it.