Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Do you have art hiding in your house?

The Le Creuset Ogive teakettle
I came across a really great looking art exhibit that I can’t go to. Atlanta’s High Museum of Art has a show called Modern By Design, which is full of beautiful and functional household and industrial items from the last century (the collection is on loan from MoMa). It includes some items that you might even have in your own home, even in your own kitchen.

The High’s website does not give a good preview of what’s in the exhibit, but one item they show is the Chemex coffee maker. I have one at home; not only does it make great coffee, but it’s nice to look at – it shimmers and has a voluptuous figure tied at the center by a wood collar and a leather strap.

The “modern” part of the exhibit references a couple of different periods from the 20th century: World War II era industrial design – large springs, motor parts and all – then the Space Age, and finally the post-counter culture 1970s. The exhibit got me thinking what items in Chef Tools’ arsenal would fit in this exhibit; kitchen and household items that are beautiful, durable and very useful.

The Matfer black steel fry pan (9-1/2" inch model)
The top prize, I think, goes to that Le Creuset Ogive teakettle (in fact, most Le Creuset items, especially their iconic French ovens, could fit in this exhibit). Other coffee-and-tea-making items could fit, too (what is it about vessels that hold hot liquids that inspires fine industrial design?) like the Bialetti espresso maker, or the RSVP pyramid-shaped tea infuser.

But there are other items, like this set of measuring cups by Amco, or soft kitchen tools by OXO. I really like these intense black steel fry pans by Matfer and these RSVP stainless steel straws. And – to prove that I’m not solely into steel and glass – the Tovolo King Cube ice tray.

What from your home would you include if you had to put together an art exhibit about industrial design?
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