Wednesday, July 18, 2018

How it's Made: Graphic Glass Designs by Case Island Studios


Both nostalgia and innovation and form and function converge in our Bauhaus-style vases by Case Island Glass Studio. The fusion of fluid movement and creative color combinations characterize these handcrafted conversation pieces.

Working out of her family-owned glass studio in Flint, Michigan, our designer draws inspiration from mid-century design and memories of her mother's 1960s tablescapes.

Each vase is hand cut from large pieces of glass using diamond-edged etching tools. Next, smaller pieces are hand cut and stacked on the base. Caution must be exercised with colors which can change subtly during the firing process. This entails multiples passes through a 1,500-degree oven and can take up to 12 hours. 

After the pieces are fused and while the flat glass is still malleable, it is placed on a mold to give it shape as a bowl, dish, or another functional object.




Finally, each unique vase is prepared to become a playful part of a contemporary tablescape! Fill it with flowers or let it make a stand-alone statement, either way it's sure to help create new memories!  

Learn more at the Museum Shop online:




To view our entire collection of unique gifts, visit the Museum Shop online: https://www.artinstituteshop.org

Proceeds from all purchases support the Art Institute of Chicago's many programs.




Monday, July 16, 2018

Abstract Expressions: Artful Hand-Painted Scarves from Thailand






Art is ready-to-wear this summer at the Museum Shop! Our exquisite new handcrafted scarves are more than just accessories: they are wearable art! Created in a workshop in a remote Thai village, each piece is a "canvas" for skilled textile artisans to hand-paint using traditional techniques. From versatile pastels to dynamic brights, this collection has something for everyone in artfully original abstract designs.

Elevate any outfit today at the Museum Shop online!


http://www.artinstituteshop.org/browse.aspx?catID=3#!/products/c/3/t/2?sort=2




To view our entire collection of unique gifts, visit the Museum Shop online: https://www.artinstituteshop.org

Proceeds from all purchases support the Art Institute of Chicago's many programs.






Thursday, July 12, 2018

How it's Made: Handcrafted Leather Chicago Map Mementos

While we travel the world to bring you unique and beautiful objects, sometimes there's nothing we want more than a perfect piece of home.  Enter the talented leather smiths of Tactile Craftworks, our neighbors to the north based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Our handcrafted leather Chicago accessories are part of their Atlas design series, inspired by a reoccurring conversation regarding the concept of place. Specifically, designers Sarah and Anna are interested in the paradoxical pull many of us feel towards travel and adventure, while we also crave continuity and community. Read on to learn how this concept manifested in maps, in this edition of "How it's Made."


With backgrounds as theatrical craftspeople, both Anna and Sarah have a keen interest in historical artifacts and ephemera. Their maps felt like a natural fusion of their conversations and interests. The Chicago map is a Rand McNally design, honoring the work of Sarah's grandfather at the Chicago company where he worked for 40 years. 


Sarah and Anna begin the production process by laser etching designs on unfinished crust-side leather. As certified 80/20 US company, 80% of their materials are made in the USA, and their leather is tanned in Milwaukee and Pennsylvania.

The ashed design is then sealed with a custom coating and left to dry. When the drying process is complete, the leather is hand glued, stitched and dyed. 


The final step entails finishing the leather edges with a beeswax sealant. While they strive to create the most durable product possible, Sarah and Anna love to see their items well-used, with a visible patina demonstrating someone has taken Tactile's work and made it their own.



Like the terrific team at Tactile Craftworks, we love hearing our customer's stories about how our items become treasured keepsakes.  Please drop us a line anytime and tell us how you're using your Chicago map mementos or any of our unique, handmade gifts!

http://www.artinstituteshop.org/item.aspx?productID=7665


To view our entire assortment, visit the Museum Shop online: https://www.artinstituteshop.org




Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Just in! New Frank Lloyd Wright® for Summer 2018

 

Freshen up with Frank!

Our summer 2018 collection has arrived and it's Wright up your alley. From architecture-inspired fashion accessories to home decor, our Frank Lloyd Wright® (American, 1867-1959) inspired items are brand new, yet every bit his signature style. Adorn yourself or your home with our latest by one of the greatest today!

https://www.artinstituteshop.org/item.aspx?productId=7791


To view our entire collection of unique gifts, visit the Museum Shop online: https://www.artinstituteshop.org

Proceeds from all purchases support the Art Institute of Chicago's many programs.



Monday, July 9, 2018

Charles White: A Retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago


 Love Letter III, c.1977

"Paint is the only weapon I have with which to fight what I resent. If I could write, I would write about it. If I could talk, I would talk about it. Since I paint, I must paint about it." - Charles White

Join the Art Institute of Chicago this summer in celebrating the life and work of artist Charles White (American, 1918 - 1979). Open now, Charles White: A Retrospective is the first major museum show in over 35 years to feature works from the gifted draftsman, painter, printmaker, muralist, teacher and activist's four-decade-long career.  Get a glimpse here and then come see for yourself!

 Love Letter I, 1971

 Born in Chicago and educated at the School of the Art Institute, White was an integral participant in the city's Black Renaissance of the 1930s. Throughout his career, he continually eschewed fluctuating artistic trends while maintaining a commitment to depicting dignified African American lives with in a representational style.


 Gospel Singers, 1951

 Despite being labor intensive, his technique and stylistic realism simultaneoulsy enhanced the expressiveness and accessibility of his work, bringing White both domestic and international acclaim. 

 Frederick Douglass, 1950

White believed in art as an agent of social change, saying that “Art must be an integral part of the struggle. It can’t simply mirror what’s taking place. It must adapt itself to human needs. It must ally itself with the forces of liberation. The fact is, artists have always been propagandists. I have no use for artists who try to divorce themselves from the struggle.” Subsquently, White used his work as a medium through which to explore questions of race, history, identity and politics that are just as relevant today as during his time.

Charles White: A Retrospective exhibition catalog.

Charles White: A Retrospective is now on view at The Art Institute of Chicago through September 3rd.  Learn more here: Charles White: A Retrospective

Visit the Museum Shop online where you can find the exhibition catalog.

All purchases support the museum's various programs.




Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Just in! New Hand-Painted Textiles by Joanna Alot


 Just in! Our brand new collection of hand-painted silks by staff and customer favorite local designer Joanna Alot has arrived. With scarves featuring bright, beautiful botanicals and super sophisticated graphic ties, you're certain to be "just-in"spired. 

To shop our exclusive assortment of Joanna Alot designs click here: Silk Scarves and Ties.
 To learn more about Joanna and her process, read our past profile here: Artist Spotlight: Joanna Alot.














To view our entire collection of unique gifts, visit the Museum Shop online: https://www.artinstituteshop.org

Proceeds from all purchases support the Art Institute of Chicago's many programs.



Monday, July 2, 2018

Happy Birthday America! Just in: New Fireworks Jewelry






Join us as we celebrate everything made in the USA! Our Fireworks Jewelry collection adds a pop of intrigue to any outfit. Now by popular demand, the earrings are available as posts! Handmade in lovely Los Angeles, these explosive accessories are hand cast in sterling silver and then oxidized for ultimate impact.

We all know someone who is a "real firecracker." Show them how much their incandescent personality is appreciated! You can purchase our Fireworks Jewelry here.


https://www.artinstituteshop.org/item.aspx?productId=7791


To view our entire collection of unique gifts, visit the Museum Shop online: https://www.artinstituteshop.org

Proceeds from all purchases support the Art Institute of Chicago's many programs.