Take 5: Lamp-Making, Basket Weaving, Metal Art + More

Twice a month we’re inviting one of the Design Milk team members to share five personal favorites – an opportunity for each of us to reveal the sort of designs we love and appreciate in our own lives from a more personal perspective. Managing Editor Joseph Sgambati III returns this week for our Take 5 series.

02.20.24 | By
Take 5: Lamp-Making, Basket Weaving, Metal Art + More

1. Lostine \\\ Lamp-making

I have an inclination to collect paraphernalia with the intention of making something from the scraps later, letting each piece’s potential fuel my imagination and assign future value. The Philadelphia-based marketplace and design studio Lostine, helmed by husband-and-wife duo Natalie Page and Robert Ogden, gave fellow journalists and myself a chance to indulge in this inclination during their lamp-making workshop hosted in their studio. Guests were provided with found materials and a basic wiring kit to create something new from something old.

A two-story white industrial space filled with a variety of home furnishings made from woven materials.

2. Twenty One Tonnes \\\ Basket Weaving

Unlike typical basketry, the works created by Twenty One Tonnes are far from kitsch while still maintaining a sense of cozy. Designers Chessa Osburn and Mary Jane Bolton design and produce incredible forms out of a variety of woven materials in collaboration with their artisan partners in Ghana, Mexico, Japan, and Colombia. Investment in human hands and time, coupled with a romantic narrative, have helped contemporize home accessories – baskets, lampshades, and textiles – while preserving indigenous craft.

Wire sculptures hanging on a white studio wall.

3. Rodger Stevens \\\ Wire Sculpture

Wrought with whimsy, each linear piece of Rodger Stevens’ iterative practice producing wire sculpture seems to build on the last forming a collection of glyphs that generates a language all his own. From wearable pieces to those on display, the artworks are abstractions of personal narratives, literature, and the human experience. Constantly working and always creating, Stevens’ work will be on view with Timothy Yarger Fine Art at Art Market San Francisco this April and the Russel Wright Design Center, in Garrison, New York, this summer.

A rug made from an assembly of geometric pieces.

4. Laine + Alliage \\\ Textiles

What started as an exploration of decoupage through upholstery has evolved becoming an application for wallpapers, linens, and now rugs. New York-based designer Tania Leipold has found ways to transmute techniques from Haute Couture, the art of dance, and cadence found in music into a symphony of original form, color, and hand-sewn textiles. Something of a maestro herself, meticulous motions imbue each piece with a quality that only comes from being handmade.

A brightly colored animation with geometry and lines set to music.

5. \\\ Visual Graphics

While my favorite place to play is in print, there’s something about animation that is hard to resist. Motion design and brand development firm demonstrates how technology can activate physically static design or capture the ethereal. In the case of music, the team begins with groovy audio rich in texture, which allows articulation through the layering of color, shape, and linework. These animations record the designers movement with their motions while listening to the music becomes the path viewers’ eyes track across the video.

With professional degrees in architecture and journalism, Joseph has a desire to make living beautifully accessible. His work seeks to enrich the lives of others with visual communication and storytelling through design. Previously a regular contributor to titles under the SANDOW Design Group, including Luxe and Metropolis, Joseph now serves the Design Milk team as their Managing Editor. When not practicing, he teaches visual communication, theory, and design. The New York-based writer has also contributed to exhibitions hosted by the AIA New York’s Center for Architecture and Architectural Digest, and recently published essays and collage illustrations with Proseterity, a literary publication.