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Friday Five with Deborah Osburn of clé
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We’ve been crushing on clé’s eclectic offerings of artisan tile for years now so it’s about time we reached out to its founder and creative director Deborah Osburn. Having spent her entire career producing tiles, and with interests in art, fashion, and design, it’s only natural that Osburn formed clé as a research and shopping destination for both unique and classic tiles. Besides running clé, she also have her own collection of tiles finished with hand painting, high-tech lithography, and other experimental methods. Her visually stunning blog, Tile Envy, featuring curated content of all things in the design world that inspire her own work, led to a book (of the same name) which continues to showcase her signature artistic aesthetic. Now, let’s see what she picks in this week’s Friday Five.

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My BDDW mug –
Not only do I love my artful BDDW mug for it’s function and funky beauty (several values I adore) – but it comes with a daily reminder of how life is filled with magic. A year ago I had discovered these collector’s mugs on BDDW’s website, but after taking too long to select one, they were quickly sold-out. A week later I received a lovely parcel in the mail. A dear colleague saw them and thought one would be just perfect for me. Since then, I never make my daily cups of tea without thinking how magical life can be!

Photo by Rob Bye

Photo by Rob Bye

Sausalito –
I moved to San Francisco a couple years after college – remembering how much the city had romanced me as the urban hub of all things “west coast”. After spending a fun and somewhat wild 20’s and 30’s living out that romance, I accidentally ended up moving just across the Golden Gate Bridge to a tiny village called Sausalito. I’d never imagined myself settling anywhere other than SF, but now Sausalito is my home. And though SF is only a bridge away, Sausalito is a small enclave of peace and quiet that allows my extremely restless mind the ability to let all sorts of seeds take root. With a view of the water at my feet and the redwoods at my back – I can’t think of a place more conducive to creativity.

Photo by Daniel Ebersole

Photo by Daniel Ebersole

Music –
I love music and often have it playing as the “score” of our home/design studio. Anything from Mozart to Glen Campbell to Bjork. But recently, I underwent one of the most creative chapters of my life and realized I couldn’t do it with music playing in the background because it wasn’t allowing me to concentrate. It was then I realized how much I am taken over by this art form. Now I have an even more significant connection to it as I am able to allow it to transport me at a moment’s notice. I find I relish it even more.

Fashion –
To me fashion is art that we wear, create and recreate every day when we don our outfit and head out to meet the world. Some of us take it more seriously than others – but the immediacy and the affordability of creating a daily masterpiece, be it a personalized and austere uniform or an elaborate homage to the latest trends, is something I never take for granted. I collect fashion, wear fashion and am always, always inspired by it.

Photo by Luke Chesser

Photo by Luke Chesser

Internet –
Without the internet my latest venture – clé, could not exist. The internet (as powered through another of my favorite objects – my Airbook) feels like I have “the world at my fingertips”. I used to hear this statement when I was younger and I was always so intrigued by that notion. I believed it, but it seemed equally inviting and overwhelming. For me, the internet takes all of that youthful promise and makes it a reality.

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.