Are you familiar with the ‘slow goods’ movement? In recent years, design shops, including
H&H favorites like Old Faithful Shop, Mjölk and Bookhou (to name just a few!), have been stocking hand-crafted goods from local makers. Everything that’s well-made and built to last is cool again.
There are plenty of crafters, ceramicists, artists, woodworkers and more out there, churning out beautiful decorative goods, small batch after small batch. Here are some of the most creative makers right now, and the unique items they produce that deserve a spot in our homes.
Though she’s currently taking a sabbatical from woodworking, Brooklyn-based
Ariele Alasko‘s past work is still for sale and worth picking up. Her delicately hand-carved utensils and wall hangings are quite spectacular and would make the perfect hostess gift.
H&H favorite, Toronto’s Coolican & Company is a homegrown champion of the slow goods movement. Specializing in small batch furniture, the small company takes pride in producing quality pieces made to last. They have produced lamps, chairs, benches and decorative objects, but word to the wise — if you see something you like, buy it! It will sell out!
Products: Palmerston stool (left), $490, Edwin Chair in White Oak (center), $845, Madison Chair (right), $1100
Here is a shot of their Toronto workshop.
Heather Braun Dahl is the Vancouver-based ceramicist and painter behind
Dahlhaus, bringing the best of the West Coast — dreamy patterns, earthy palettes and organic materials — to the world at large. She has collaborated with Anthropologie, Nordstrom and West Elm, so you know she’s doing something right.
Products: Tall Bouey Vase in Porcelain, $110
Another Canadian talent is Alec Sutherland, founder of Haut Beau, a flat woven rug company. One of our favorite pieces is a made-to-order design called Island (shown here), inspired by the views of Lake Ontario from Toronto Islands. The perfect cure for those seemingly never-ending grey winter days!
Products: Island rug
Helen Levi has become somewhat of an Instagram celebrity (119k+ followers) and for good reason. Known for her simple yet artistic uses of color and organic shapes, she’s created something of a cult following (she was even in the Vogue September 2015 issue!) and is a bona fide ceramics star.
More of Helen’s dreamy ceramics!
Having contributed to various publications like venerable
Lucky Peach and The Walrus, as well as being an H&H alum, Justine’s illustrations, available on patternsandportraits.com, are well-loved and instantly recognizable. Having spent a lot of time in Japan — she’ll be moving there from Toronto this summer — her varied pieces reflect the world around her. For foodies and those afflicted with wanderlust, her designs are a must-see.
Photographer: Justine Wong
Products: Kamakura Bread Truck - Original Painting, approx. $514
Quilts are becoming chic again thanks to crafters like
Louise Gray’s Alexandra Gray Bennett and Jocelin Johnson who are giving the traditional craft a new spin. Featuring contemporary minimalist designs, the quilts are sophisticated and would look at home in a minimalist space.
Products: Queen Quilt No. 2, $575
Meg Callahan, a Rhode Island School of Design grad and one of Forbes magazine’s 30 under 30, creates some wonderful patchwork quilts. Drawing on the strong spirit of her home state of Oklahoma, her bold designs would look equally great draped on a bed as they would hung on a wall. What’s not to love?
Photographer: Meg Callahan
Products: Chama quilt, price upon request.
Here is another beautiful quilt from Meg Callahan.
Photographer: Meg Callahan
Products: Osanna quilt, price upon request.
Paul Loebach’s stunning ash and carbon fiber dining table was inspired by the double helix structure discovered by James Watson. The name of the table is fittingly, the Watson. Paul is a furniture and product designer working in New York City and Berlin, two hotbeds of contemporary culture, but uses woodworking skills passed down through the generations of his family. A perfect mix of new and old.
Products: Watson table.
Alexander Devol is the man behind
Wooden & Woven, a British woodworking practice. Standout pieces include a satin finish cherry cutting board dappled with light, and unusual deep blue-dyed bowls. His pieces are guaranteed to make a statement.
Here is the same large bowl as featured in the previous slide for scale. Wow!