Friday Five with Elyse Graham

The work of Elyse Graham has found its way onto our digital pages many times as her work has a way of settling into your soul. The Los Angeles-based artist and designer graduated from Brown University where she earned a B.A. in Art: Semiotics before founding her eponymous studio in 2014. Since then she’s been interweaving art and design through her handmade sculptural works that are born through her experimentation of unusual materials, like plaster and resin. Each object is striking at first glance before it invites the eye to keep exploring, piquing your curiosity and making you wonder how in the world it was made. The pieces are so unique, and I’m sure incredibly labor-intensive, but she didn’t stop at vases and vessels – she’s also translated her processes into really fun wall mirrors and beautiful tables. She’ll be debuting new work with pop-up design gallery FURTH YASHAR & from April 26 – May 27, 2018 at the iconic Schindler House in Los Angeles. Read below to see what she picked for her Friday Five, which happens to include the most adorable baby ever!

1. Eero Elaine Mauk
The axis of our world tilted in October of last year when Lewis Mauk and I welcomed our baby girl, Eero Elaine. Needless to say my perspective has changed quite a bit in the past six months. Now that I’m back in the studio I can’t help but see potential toys in all of our colorful resin pieces!

Peas Please, Kate Greenberg

2. Thanks, God—collages by Kate Greenberg
Artist Kate Greenberg recently completed a body of collage-based works exploring the anxieties she felt while living in Russia and throughout her subsequent return to the US. Using materials found while living abroad, combined with North American advertisements from the 50s, 60s and 70s along with her own photographs, Greenberg playfully examines the dichotomy of the two superpowers while tackling issues related to identity, gender roles, language, and food. These pieces are fantastic, fun and ever more relevant in these strange times.

Eileen Gray in her studio \\\ Courtesy National Museum of Ireland

3. Eileen Gray
While doing research for an upcoming project, I was introduced to the work of architect and designer Eileen Gray. Now that I know her name, I seem to see her iconic furniture everywhere! Though her work made in the early 1920s still feels contemporary today, what I found most impressive and inspiring was her dedication to craft. She spent years apprenticing with a master lacquer craftsman before creating her own work in the material. Gray exemplifies the ideals of what I think of when I hear the ubiquitous term “artist/maker”—she admires a traditional craft, studies and explores it and then uses it to create something innovative and totally her own.

Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection

4. Miller Robinson at the Southwest Museum
The historic Southwest Museum is a visual icon of the east side of Los Angeles, founded by Charles Lummis and built by Sumner P. Hunt and Silas Reese Burns in 1914. It shines like a beacon at the foot of Mt. Washington. Though recognized by most, few Angelenos have visited the museum, but hopefully this is about to change. Emerging curatorial team Pejman Shojaei and Luke Forsyth, who go by the name Holiday have partnered with the museum to present the work of artist Miller Robinson (Of this body; of this earth opening May 20 – June 16) in the museum’s most curious feature—its tunnel entrance.

Photo courtesy of Travis Audubon

5. Urban Birding
My husband introduced me to casual bird watching when we first met and over the years I’ve grown to love our morning strolls through the park in our North East Los Angeles neighborhood. Our daily ritual of walking and observing, first with our dog Maisey and now with our daughter Eero, is both meditative and grounding when so much of our lives are lived virtually. We always look forward to spotting the flocks of migrating Cedar Waxwings that visit our park twice a year on their long journey from northern Canada to Mexico and back.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief 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.