Jan 31, 2012

Attn: Minneapolis; Exhibit Closing

Man oh man it's been a busy busy month. My daughter turned one and on top of putting together a very special, low maintenance cupcake and balloon party, I've had some other heavy lifestyle issues to deal with. I wont get too personal here, but instead I'll share something that I've had the chance to enjoy. On the 1st floor of the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts is a small exhibit of Mechanical and Still Banks. The exhibit is titled "Mechanical Menagerie: Selections from the Kathrine Kierland Herberger Collection of Banks." It is a pretty impressive collection and it runs through the end of March. 

Considering the MIA is a free facility, you really have no excuse for missing this show. And while you are there you can check out the period rooms, the amazing modern collection and the adorable Frank Lloyd Wright diorama.

Jan 19, 2012

Collecting Vintage Luggage

I love storage. And I love thrifting, digging and picking. Over the years I have accumulated a number of vintage suitcases and luggage. They are so easy to find and look wonderful tucked in a corner or piled up high. They are the perfect addition to hide other collections I'm not displaying at the moment. 

1940's wooden suitcase $65.00

Vintage luggage carries (pun intended) a wide range of price points. Some of the less expensive pieces could be mere pennies at your local thrift store, or something like a Louis Vuitton, coveted by high end collecters, could be in the thousands. This site had some helpful information on choosing the right European luxury piece.

Linen Lined French Suitcase $125

One issue that luggage collectors face is cleanliness. Often a suitcase, especially if it has been well loved, or stored in the depths of ones estate for years on end, can come with it's own special smell. The case may also be scuffed, blemished or have sticky residue from peeled off luggae labels. Thanks to the "High Planes Thrifter!" Here is expert advice on cleaning and maintaining your vintage luggage pieces. 

American Tourister Traincase in Red $29.00

If you love the printed word as much as I do and are looking to sink your eyes into some vintage luggage literature I recommend; "Vintage Luggage: A Case History," and "Antique Trunks: Identification and Price Guide."

Handpainted Circular Overnighter $60.00

Can't get enough? Check out this luggage eye candy over at DesignSponge.
Tired of keeping your luggage stacked in a pile in the corner? Or Stuffed way back in your closet? Try making it into a beautiful coffee table!
Surprise your little one with the unexpected-a doll house inside of a suitcase (thanks to the creative minds over at birch & bird!)

Jan 12, 2012

I Collect: Kaylah

I've been reading Kaylah's blog for awhile now. I love her style, her wit and her love of cats! The other morning, while enjoying a cup of joe and a sleeping baby, I was checking in on Kaylah to see what she's been up to when it hit me-I collect interview! I'm super pumped to share with you Kaylah's strange and awesome tooth collection. 

My Name is: Kaylah Doolan. I'm a small business owner and full time blogger over at The Dainty Squid. I love cats, mycology, and of course, collecting way more things that I need.

I collect: teeth! I collect both human and animal teeth, tooth shaped things (brooches, planters, etc) and dental items (like slides, ceramic molds, etc)

Its been going on for: a few years. My collection has really bulked up over the last few months though!

I look for additions to my collections at: everywhere I go! A walk in the woods might find me an animal skull with teeth for my collection but I would have to say estate sales and ebay are my main source of additions.

When I find one I feel: Excited! It's a natural high to find pieces for any of my collections.
The star of my collection is: my teeth! I got 8 teeth pulled when I got braces - four wisdom teeth and four others to make room for my teeth to straighten out. It was a pain finding a dentist who would let me keep them because they're apparently "biohazards" but it was totally worth it!

The oddest piece in my collection is:  a strangers dentures! I found them in the garage at an estate sale of someone who recently died. They were in a box with a few other things and I was certain they'd cost more than I'd want to pay, especially since I just wanted them because they were so weird. But they ended up costing me fifty cents and since then I've bought four more pairs for my collection.

A way my collection has gotten me into a tight situation: I don't think my collection has ever really gotten me in a tight situation. Sometimes I do feel a bit awkward about admitting I collect teeth because everyone thinks it's really gross, weird, or inhumane. All of the real teeth in my collection come from consenting humans or deceased animals so it's not inhumane! As for gross, all of my collection has been cleaned thoroughly, and bleached when necessary. But I guess I can see how it could be weird! ;)

Some other things I like to collect are: vintage paint by numbers, cameras, nesting dolls, mushrooms, cuckoo clocks, vintage dresses, belts, keys, both faux and real taxidermy and maybe a few other things that I can't think of off the top of my head.

My family and friends think my collection is: strange, but they're very supportive. My dad got a bunch of teeth pulled sometime before Christmas and my mom gave them to me all packaged up nice in a fancy jewelry box, so I'd certainly say they understand me! ;) I come from a long line of collectors. My grandma was a collector, my dad is, I most definitely am, and my 8 year old nephew is too!

Thanks for sharing Kaylah!

See previous I Collect Interviews Here

Jan 10, 2012

Tara Donovan

Styrofoam Cups, Hot Glue/ACE GALLERY

I love it when an artist creates work by collecting something usually taken for granted and turning it into an absolute thing of beauty. So is the case of artist Tara Donovan, the Brooklyn artist and winner of the MacArthur genius grant.  

Toothpicks/ACE GALLERY

Using everyday materials, Donovan creates mystifying sculptures and site-specific installations. Some of her pieces involve hours of labor and a team of work. She must be in love with the process, creating something so completely tedious, an OCD-ers dream even! Read this great interview at The Design Observer Group! Then watch this art:21 discussion.

"Nebulous" Scotch Tape/ACE GALLERY

Her work was featured in the Whitney Biennial in 2001. She won the Calder Prize in 2005. In 2006 she had her first solo exhibit at the Pace Gallery (who currently represents her). She had a well received solo show last February at the Pace Gallery, of her Pin Drawings. And she's shown many other places; including but not limited to; the Met, Cleveland Contemporary Art Museum, San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, at BAM UC Berkeley and the Institute of Contemporary Art/ Boston.


Tara Donovan, I've got my eye on you! I can't wait to see what you come up with next. In the mean time, I'll be picking up this lovely book made in conjunction with your solo exhibit at the Institute for Contemporary Art/Boston.

Paper Plates/ACE GALLERY



Jan 1, 2012

Collecting Jadeite

I don't usually make New Years resolutions, but if I made one for this next year, it would be something like "learn more." I love learning about new things. Writing for The Collect Collective really gives me the opportunity to hone in on new subjects of interest. One collectible I've been curious about, ever since I started digging around estate sales and antique shops, is Jadeite. I've always had my hands full (literally) with too many other collections, that I haven't picked up any jadeite for myself yet. One day I hope to have a wall of jadeite in my kitchen, a whole wall of that delicious green.

Jadeite used to be so cheap it was free! It was the prize found buried in tubs of Quaker Oatmeal or the buyers incentive with a sack of flour. Many restaurants and institutions served meals on jadeite due to it's durability and resistance. Because of it's high threshold for breakage, there are many pieces still out there today. (and large collections too, see: Martha's, Paula's, and the Pioneer Woman's). 

Jadeite was mass produced beginning in the 1930's. Mckee was the first manufacture-and the least popular among today's collectors. Jeannette Glass Company is credited with popularizing the term "Jadeite." The Anchor Hocking Company, near Lancaster PA, is most known for it's "Fire King" glass ware. Fire King was produced in a variety of colors, but their Jade-ite remains the most sought after. This article offers some helpful hints for identifying the producer a jadeite piece. 

If you are interested in learning more about Jadeite I'd suggest checking out some of these titles: "Jadeite: An Identification & Price Guide," or "Delphite and Jadeite A Pocket Book For Collectors." If it's Fire King your are most interested in, available in it's 4 edition is: "Anchor Hocking's Fire King & More." Also helpful Fire Kings specific reads are; "Unauthorized Guide To Fire-King Glasswares," and (with a spectacular jacket, I might add) "A Collector's Guide To Anchor Hockings "Fire-King" Glasswares."

Display your Jadeite loud and proud, make 'em all green with envy!

The Jadeite items you see here are available for purchase on Etsy. Thank you Etsy sellers for the use of your gorgeous photographs!