Archive for the ‘incredible artists’ Category

From an original spelling (no “B” in Thumprints) to original style, we love the new introductions from Thumprints lighting collection.

To get to know brand designer Allison Davis a bit better, we asked her a few questions about her line.


Here is a glimpse into her design aesthetic and a few exciting new products.

Mill and Leaf: What are your earliest design memories in any medium?

Allison: I started making lamps by going to antique stores and finding unusual objects.  I made them out of candle sticks, boxes, blown glass, wine bottle etc.  You can make a lamp out of just about anything, which is what makes them such fun accessories!!

Mill and Leaf: What excites you about working with lighting, in particular, as a designer?

Allison: I am not sure why I got into lighting, but I still have several unusual lamps that I picked out for my high school bedroom, so I have always been intrigued by unique lighting.  Lighting is an important part of every room, and lamps can simply serve the functional purpose of lighting, or become an artistic focal point of a room. When designing lamps for the line, I focus on creating pieces of functional art – “lamps as distinctive as your thumprint”.

Mill and Leaf: What art style, either current or historical, is a favorite…and why?

Allison: I like abstract art and bright colors.  I am also drawn to sculpture and three dimensional design. Thumprints lamps are artistically-styled, and often “sculpted” from a single object or form, and combine textures, shapes, colors and materials, all of which I attribute to my love of abstract art and sculpture.


Mill and Leaf: Any especially interesting fact/feature concerning your company or products  that you would like to share.

Allison: All of Thumprints 2012 introductions are Made in the USA.  We are proud to support American manufacturing!

Sounds like you found your calling Allison. We are happy to share your innovative designs with our customers!


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Quote from Genevieve Gorder

Thoughts from Genevieve Gorder

Ooooohhhh! I LOVE Genevieve Gorder! Her smile is infectious. I loved her when she first started out on HGTV. She was so accessible to “normal” people like me. She has a firm grasp of practical design implementation yet her head is forever up in the clouds of innovation.

The folks at Capel Rugs must feel the same way. Of the many HGTV designers being sought after for licensing their own design styles, Genevieve Gorder is among the top.

At HighPoint Market, we got to see some of Genevieve’s latest interior design work for area rugs.

Natural flat-woven rug design from Genevieve Gorder

Warm colors liven up any room

Natural flat-woven rug design from Genevieve Gorder

Geometric patterns pair well with classic and modern pieces

Natural flat-woven rug design from Genevieve Gorder

Bold color choices make a statement

Her flat woven rugs made with natural fibers are perfect paired with reclaimed wood furniture or classic pieces alike. She utilizes bold as well as traditional colors and her patterns are fun and innovative. We’re impressed!

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Lately while prepping for the High Point Furniture show in NC, the focus at Mill and Leaf has been searching for the best furniture collections we can find. In our “upholstered search” I stumbled on an artist who has been using vinyl and thread for years to create (upholster) common objects other than seating! Check this out…

Vocho (yellow) – 2006 – Vinyl, thread and car parts

Texas 3-d artist, Margarita Cabrera views fabric (in this case vinyl) in a whole new way. Who doesn’t love a yellow Beetle.

Her earlier work, of a 80-inch, baby grand piano is my favorite. You can almost hear the crescendo of the music, though this upholstered piece has never been played.

Baby Grand Piano – 2005 – Vinyl, thread, metal & wood

The contemporary art lines of the loose vinyl and threads make these pieces scream for attention.

Now…back to looking for well tailored modern furniture. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.



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Furniture Designer Maria Yee

A glance at Maria Yee’s line of furniture tells you that she has elevated furniture design to an art form. The clean lines of her pieces will add elegance and grace to any room. But one thing you might not notice at first while enjoying the artistry of these pieces is the incredible technical, eco-friendly innovations that go into creating each one.

Maria Yee has perfected a patented BreathingJoinery™ manufacturing system, based on traditional techniques, that uses no nails or screws in construction and allows the materials to maintain their original strength and beauty.

This platform bed is an excellent example of this incredible joinery technique and easily has the highest construction quality of any bed we’ve seen recently.

Yee also pioneered the development of FSC-certified BambooTimbre™, a material created by layering renewable, fast-growing Moso bamboo to create boards that are stronger than steel.

Other ways Maria Yee works to minimize the environmental footprint of her line are by heating the factory with scraps created in the furniture production process and by using specially formulated water-based finishes and glues.

Our Mill & Leaf team enjoyed  getting to visit Maria Yee’s incredible showrooms at this spring’s High Point Furniture Market. Typical of her eco-friendly aesthetic, her showroom was housed in a renovated space in Hight Point, North Carolina. We loved the repurposed floors!

The clean lines of the furniture are beautiful in person, but she has managed to make these pieces incredibly comfortable to sit in as well.

Upholstered furniture was a new direction for this artist in 2012. This Arial sofa was one of our favorites.

Since Yee pays careful attention to the design of all sides of her pieces, the back of each product is gorgeous, so they would be a perfect fit for open floor plans where all sides of the pieces need to shine.

Finally, as if the excellent design and environmental conscience of Maria Yee’s furniture weren’t enough reason to fall in love with this line, the story of what led this artist to furniture is truly unique.

Born in China, she was sent to work at a rock quarry after her parents were imprisoned during the Cultural Revolution. After her release she studied as a machinist and became a mechanical engineer. Her passion for the art and design of furniture was sparked as she saw the destruction of historic masterpieces during the Cultural Revolution. As a result, she recruited a group of masters to recreate museum-quality pieces from the Ming dynasty, which led to the creation of her California-based company in 1988.

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Incredible art – where is it? Who makes it?
After 8 years studying art and art history, I have few real definitions for “incredible art.” However, in terms of both contemporary art and traditional art, you can often provide your own definition.
Consider why you were drawn to the last great piece of art you have seen. Perhaps you were going through the Impressionists’ paintings exhibit in a nearby gallery, or maybe you were looking at a collage wall of preschooler art at your child’s school. In either place, you may have found a piece you thought was incredible!
Surprised at the choice of venues? An art gallery vs. preschool display…lol…Which one is more incredible? But wait. Art is quite simply an act of expression, whether it be a painting, a song, sculpture or dance. To decide (in your own mind) what is incredible art, maybe consider these points:
Is the person(s) who created this piece special to you in some way? Do you know their back story, how they fit into a specific era? Are they somehow connected to a period in your own life that was noteworthy or memorable?

What is it about the design technique that caught your eye? Hundreds of hours of a pointillism technique, or simple a crayon drawing of Aunt Mary that REALLY captures her personality?

What circumstances are unique to this piece? There were no cameras during the time of the pharaohs so the art created and preserved is circumstantially unique! Or what about the piece drawn by a hospitalized child that illustrates the art of caring staff – that could be pretty incredible.

Do you see the pattern here? Almost all art is incredible for one reason or the another, depending on the viewer’s perspective. Is this piece below incredible to you?


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