Archive | Design RSS feed for this section

Ceramic delights

24 Jan

I have some ceramic delights in store for you today. Three different collections, but all made by the lovely Sophie Aguilera (remember her?) who is also one of the illustrators of the gorgeous Illustrated Villains, which I posted about on Tuesday.

In this first series (above) we can see her ‘Bestiario Cerámico‘ a collection of dishes with ears, horns and legs sculpted from paper clay and baked at 1,250º, then glazed and decorated with colour and gold.

These friendly faces belong to the series called ‘Funny Faces’. Made with paper maché, they have been decorated with digital transfers and colours and also been baked at 1,250º. Cute, aren’t they?

Last, but certainly not least, the series called ‘Housewives’ is a pretty graphic one, but interesting and arrestingly beautiful nonetheless. They were inspired by Louise Bourgeois’ Femme-Maison, and hand-shaped in a special kind of clay, after which they were baked at 1,250º and decorated with colours and gold.

I don’t know about you, but I am in awe of the pieces Sophie creates, both in ceramics and on paper, and can hardly wait to see what more she has up her sleeve! For now, you can see some of her pieces in person, at the exhibit called ‘Reinventa la Mesa’ (reinvent the table) at Madrid Fusión 2013, which takes place in Museo Cerralbo (Calle Ventura Rodríguez 17, 28008 Madrid) until the 3rd of February. If you are unable to visit the exhibit, you can check Sophie’s website here, her Facebook page here, and follow her on Pinterest.

All images by Sophie Aguilera.

Illustrated villains

22 Jan
Barcelona Cute Suite

Pretty pack

How about a game of poker? Let’s play with the most beautiful cards I’ve seen in a long time, these “Illustrated Villains“. A pack of cards designed and illustrated by 4 artists who joined hands on this project as a result of their strong connection with Barcelona.

Barcelona Cute Suite

The white gloved thief – Irene Vidal Sarmiento

Each of the 4 artists designed one of the 4 suits in their own unique style, resulting in an interesting collection of illustrated cards which tell 4 different stories.

Barcelona Cute Suite

The black widow – Adriana Bellet

Lovely, aren’t they? There is the suit of the White gloved Thief, the suit of the Black Widow, and the one of the Gentleman Wolf…

Continue reading

Round about town

16 Jan
Barcelona Cute Suite

Carrer Ferlandina

If you look closely enough while on your daily to-ing and fro-ing you might find some things are round about town, just like these…

Barcelona Cute Suite

Carrer Riera Baixa

Barcelona Cute Suite

Sagrada Familia

Love triangle

20 Dec 004 Triangles
001 Triangles

Well carved – Carrer Bergara

One day I spotted these carvings on a door not far from where I live and something stirred inside me… I wasn’t terribly sure of what, until I started spotting more triangular shapes, and then I know I was in a love triangle!

002 Triangles

Going this way and that… Carrer Bolivia

Here’s what my camera, these triangles and I have prepared for you – enjoy!

Continue reading


14 Dec 003 Gates
001 Gates

Gate + door – Carrer Wellington

Living within the city centre it’s not often you get to see gates. But gates there are in Barcelona, and some even in the centre, surprisingly…

002 Gates

Two-tone gorgeousness – Carrer de Larrard

I’ve found some rather lovely examples to share with you as we wind down and get ready for the weekend. Here they are… enjoy!

Continue reading

Escala Cordial

13 Dec Escala Cordial (1)
Escala Cordial

Smile for the camera

Do you like t-shirts? The kind with cool prints on them? If you do, you might like the t-shirts made by Escala Cordial.

Escala Cordial (3)

Constructive tee

Based in Barcelona, Escala Cordial has just been launched, and their website has just gone live a few days ago, so this is somewhat of an exclusive for you all. And you know what? You can win one! Read on and you’ll find out how…

Continue reading

It’s all in the stars

22 Nov copyright: Lisette van de Graaf
copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Temple gate – Carrer Bailén

My laptop has decided it doesn’t want to connect to the internet anymore, but I’m staying positive, because it’s all in the stars (and luckily, I still have my smart phone)!

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

A serving of stars – Carrer de l’Arc de Sant Silvestre

Continue reading


6 Nov copyright: Lisette van de Graaf
copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Jewelled – Carrer Còrsega

Mosaics are quite wonderful, wouldn’t you agree? All those little pieces puzzled together to make a beautiful whole… In Barcelona we are lucky to have many mosaics gracing our buildings – sometimes in a figurative way, others in just a purely decorative manner.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Pomegranate – La Rambla

Most mosaics in Barcelona stem from the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, when the Modernisme movement was at its peak. It often used symbolism in its designs, such as the above pomegranate images, as well as Catalan nationalism, as is reflected in the Senyera below.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Senyera – La Rambla

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Balcony bases – Carrer de l’Or

Sometimes the mosaic is purely decorative, as it is on the balcony bases in the image above. Pretty isn’t it?

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Shop front – Carrer Llibertad

The exterior of a shop selling electric supplies (above) is a gorgeous example of a later application of mosaics when it was used as an advertising form.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Simplicity – Carrer  Larrard

The mosaics on Gaudí’s buildings are known all over the world, and are probably the most photographed. But it doesn’t make them any less sublime, even when they are are a mere combination of white tones (below). A neighbouring house has also used mosaics, albeit in a very simple form, to add some prettiness to its fence (above).

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Shades of white – Parc Güell

The former bull ring La Monumental was also decorated with mosaics, but in this case, in a Moorish style, with very striking results. Whenever I pass it, I always feel the need to stop for a bit, and admire its incredible beauty.

Today is an important day for those in the US,  as people cast their votes to either re-elect Obama or elect Romney as president. But it is also important for the rest of the world, for just like a mosaic, we are all puzzled together to form a larger whole, and therefore, what is decided in one country affects us all. I hope, that people will use their right to vote and chose wisely!

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Moorish – Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes

Heavenly hinges

26 Oct copyright: Lisette van de Graaf
copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Swirly – Ronda Universitat

Among the many embellishments on buildings in Barcelona in the time of the Modernisme movement, even doors received their generous dose, and heavenly hinges can be found on various beautiful doors around town.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Expansive – Carrer Princesa

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Swirly :: 2 – Carrer Minerva

Ornate, swirly, dotted with studs and often depicting flowers or even dragons, these hinges were handmade by the smiths of the era.

Continue reading


19 Oct copyright: Lisette van de Graaf
copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Muchafibra – Carrer Carretes 13

Tucked deep into el Raval, on a street that once used to be rather drab, but these days is alive with hanging plants on every building (thanks to a certain French lady, who I will mention in a bit) you can find Muchafibra, an experimental textile and production center for fashion designers.

In a city that bursts with creativity and where designers of all kinds abound, this is a wonderful initiative, and I am delighted to be able to share it with you. Muchafibra was set up by Virginie Verrier, a lovely and very friendly French lady who has brought her charme, flair and know-how to this nook in el Raval and blown new life into it, converting it from a paint manufacturer’s workshop to the shop and fashion production workshop it is today (and re-converting the street in the process).

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Tasteful décor

Muchafibra is not just a practical and helpful place where you can rent the space and machinery to set up your own fashion collection, or learn new tricks in the many courses they offer. It is a space that is filled with Virginie’s personal,  tasteful touches, put together with vintage (and often discarded) pieces of furniture or home wares. See for yourself, and after the slideshow I’ll tell you a bit more…

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: