Archive for January, 2017

23
Jan
17

How the Artisans of Today Get their Inspiration from California Auctions

Artists, artisans, and creators are on a constant lookout for sources of inspiration. They’re searching for the next big idea that will drive them, as well as the spark that will ignite the flame of their ingenuity and creativity. In this vein, they often discover and channel inspiration from the past, from masters who paved the way in many different mediums. One of the most inspiring periods for many artisans is the 17th century.

Inspirational pieces from this period include everything from paintings and drawings, to sculpture and needlework, to clothing and architecture, to textile design, furniture design, and even book design. There are many examples of all of these items on the Internet and in books, but there are places artists can go where they can see these historic objects up close and in person. These places include art and antiques auctions in California.

MARY DeNEALE MORGAN

MARY DeNEALE MORGAN (Californian 1868-1948) “California Coastal Dunes” Watercolor on board

 

 

Inspiration-Gathering at California Auctions: Suggestions

Gathering inspiration is always a personal process, but there are tried-and-true ways to do it that have worked consistently for many artists and artisans. The number one rule that applies to inspiration-gathering, however, is that there are no rules. There is no limit to where an idea may come from because inspiration is everywhere.

The Value of In-Person Viewing

At auction houses, items up for sale may be displayed in a main gallery or showroom up to the point of sale. This gives people a chance to view and inspect them before bidding, but it also affords artisans and creatives a unique opportunity to interact with rare, historic, or valuable pieces from the past in person. Viewing something in real life is far different from looking at a picture of it on the web or in a book, and a whole new cache of ideas may spring from seeing an art piece or historic item in 3D.

 

Spanish Baroque Style Trestle Table with Iron Stretchers

Spanish Baroque Style Trestle Table with Iron Stretchers

Questions to Ask to Generate New Ideas

With these things in mind, collecting inspiration depends on what intrigues a particular person, not to mention what stands out to them about an object, situation, person, place, or idea. However, some people need a push to get them thinking in a way that generates new concepts. Here are some thoughts that may be helpful when pursuing the muse at auction houses:

What story does the piece depict? Are there multiple possible stories?

Look at the evidence of wear on the item, if any. Note its condition. What does this say about the usefulness of the piece? Try to imagine what kind of people would have used it, and in what ways.

Think about the value of the piece. If it is a painting or art object, why is it valuable? If it is a furniture piece or other “useful” item, why is it so treasured today?

Note the colors in or on the piece. How are they related — are they primary or secondary colors, for instance? Do they evoke nature? Think about why the artist or artisan chose them.

Is there a recurring pattern or motif on the object? What is it?

These questions are relevant when viewing any item or art piece for inspiration, not just 17th century or antique pieces. With the right mindset, inspiration can be drawn from any decade.

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18
Jan
17

How the Designs of the Past Influence Trends of the Future

Trends come in cycles. It’s apparent in everything from fashion to interior design to art and lifestyle movements. They do come about as reactions to past trends and ways of living, but many trends are simply recycled versions of what came before. Seasoned designers understand this cycle and use it to their advantage. This is why art auctions are so valuable in the design world.

Ostervig Rosewood Dining Set

Ostervig Rosewood Dining Set

What’s Old Becomes New Again

Many trends hearken back to past decades for inspiration. Interior designers know how these trends come about and in many cases can even predict them. They additionally understand the fundamental aspects of classic trends that repeat themselves over the years. These aspects include functionality, simplicity, and balance. When pieces from history resurface at auction with some combination of these attributes, they will look good well into the future in addition to right now. Seasoned interior designers can spot these hallmarks of classic design from a mile away.

Art Auctions Offer the Best of Old Trends Making a Comeback

Classic furniture and decor will never go out of style. These are crafted from sturdy, fine materials like wood, stone, and metal, and have simple lines. If they do have details, they are elegant and not over-the-top. Auctions are a treasure chest for finding items like these, ones that will look good in any home. One of the reasons for this is that people tend to keep what’s timeless, and so an item is handed from person to person and lives a long life before eventually making its way onto an auction block.

However, trendy pieces are also hallmarks at an auction. Consider the mid-century modern trend, which finds its roots in the 1950s and 60s. New pieces are being manufactured and sold in modern stores that exactly mirror pieces from 60 years ago. Go to an auction, however, and one can find original mid-century modern furniture made in the era that birthed it.

Pair of Knoll Mies Van der Rohe Brown Leather Upholstered Barcelona Chairs

Pair of Knoll Mies Van der Rohe Brown Leather Upholstered Barcelona Chairs

Good Designers Respect the Past

No décor was created in a vacuum. All design springs from inspiration from other sources. Good interior designers are well aware of this fact and use it to their advantage. They have respect for original pieces from past eras that are in style again, and they understand how past trends can morph into something new.

Art Auctions are one of the best places to find where trends start, or where inspiration for new trends is born in the first place. This format specializes in the sale of the unique, the historic, the valuable, and the special. At auction, what is old and has potentially lost its value for one person transforms into something new and full of value for someone else. In this vein, good interior designers are able to see the potential in objects, art, furniture, and the like that perhaps have not made it back onto the trend radar. In these instances, a new trend might be in the wings.




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