Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ready Made Magazine

I once again will sound my lament for magazines gone...but also get to sing the praises of a magazine that has been around for a while but is quietly being updated with beautiful photography and interesting features--ReadyMade. Started in Berkeley and now based out of Iowa (as it is part of the larger Meredith corporation now) RM is forging its way into the ever developing and combined world of food, craft, design and decor with pizazz and much talent.
I first was contacted by Amy Palanjian-the Deputy Editor, (the editor Andrew Wagner, some may remember from his excellent re-do of American Craft mag) a few years ago when she included my work in a blog she was working on. She got in touch again recently and excitedly proclaimed that she had a great article she was working on and wanted to include my work as its focus-- I packed up several pieces of tableware and sent it her way where their photographers put together a very cool collage of my work for the feature "Why its Worth it" in the April/May edition--Now Amy does this as a regular feature for RM--profiles something that is available at various price points--and offers up her argument as to why it is..or isn't..worth spending a bit more for something. This time she discusses tableware.
I really like this article--of course I like that fact that she focused on my work and phew(!)...decided it was worth spending more on handmade tableware, and in her words, "swoon-worthy"--love that...but I also like the way in which she builds her argument as well as the questions she submitted to me for my take on the whole subject.
Here are some excerpts from the piece--and you can go here for the full feature online: (the article in the magazine will soon be posted on my website under "News" as well)

Here is some of the online content:

RM: Why do think that’s important to support work like yours, and artists like yourself, especially in our current economy? 
Neimeth: You know, I think about this a lot because I will walk into bigger stores and see a great looking plate and am amazed at how little it costs. Now that serves a purpose for sure but it can also blunt our sense of craft. Yes, someone designed them, but they are being mass-produced likely in a factory paying little wages and packaging them as if they are “handcrafted”. It belies the amount of time and energy that artists are putting into their work and dilutes our sense of uniqueness. Everyone all over the world can own the same plate. And again, while affordability is a huge issue and it is important to produce things within many people’s budgets, it is also nice to derive pleasure from the discovery of something truly unique and original that is also supporting an individual artist and the idea that their work can be an heirloom.

It really is quite the concept in these recessionary days--we all have to watch our finances--yet we still, especially those of us--"collectors"--like to have certain things that are meaningful to us-And mind you, for me just finding a beautiful tumbleweed rolling in the desert in New Mexico and packing it into my suitcase (it can work!) is a huge thrill. That said, I love to eat off of a handmade plate--or push the food around in a big rustic bowl. I appreciate the work that goes into the craft of jewelers, chefs, boot makers (oh-yeah) as well as a finely crafted song or piece of writing. These are the things that can subtley enhance our day to day and lord knows--we all need that.
All in moderation of course and all in line with your wallets--
But as Amy says- a reminder of a person, a story, a time in your life--an heirloom--if you will, is a sacred thing. And too often these days we ignore the heirlooms and go for the quickie. Like the story I relayed in an earlier post about the woman I met who told me that holding one of my bowls with the images that spoke to her gave her great comfort and motivation, we all need to find that feeling where we can.