Margaret De Patta was a traditionally-trained painter until the day she tried her hand at designing her own wedding band. The craft so enchanted her that she decided to pursue alternative art studies under László Moholy-Nagy at the New Bauhaus.
Channeling the New Bauhaus principles of art and industry, De Patta helped to redefine jewelry for a design-cognizant audience. The resulting pieces were both carefully crafted and inexpensive, dynamic objects that reflected light, framed space, and moved with kinetic energy. Her groundbreaking work pioneered a new movement in American studio jewelry and the idea of “wearable art”.
Photo courtesy of CGM Findings.
Pin, 1956. Photo courtesy of Wallpaper.com.
Pendant, 1953. Photo courtesy of Vena Cava.
1947 jewelry display. Photo courtesy of Vena Cava.
Sterling silver and beach pebble pin, 1964. Photo courtesy of Dwell.
Quartz-and-onyx ring, 1954. Photo courtesy of Dwell.
Ring in white gold and rutilated quartz crystal, 1949. Photo courtesy of Wallpaper.com.
Cufflinks, 1940s. Photo courtesy of M. Schon.
Gold Ring, 1950. Photo courtesy of Incollect.
Quartz pendant, 1956. Photo courtesy of Art Jewelry Forum.
Silver and quartz brooch, 1950. Photo courtesy of Antiques and Hearts.
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Ceramics by Gertrud and Otto Natzler, 1950s. Photo courtesy of Jackie Masters.
While 19th-century and early 20th-century ceramics were a result of imports from places like Japan and Europe, World War II brought international trade to a standstill. This opened up an opportunity for local artisans and craftsmen that had never existed before in the United States; local studios flourished and a new era of pottery was born.
California’s building boom also sparked an immediate need for decor and housewares and local studios rose to the occasion. As mid-century modernism bloomed and blossomed, ceramics followed suit, resulting in minimalist shapes and archetypal forms in a wild array of new color and glaze techniques. The works that exist from this period are now considered valuable works of art, some of which have become extremely valuable in a relatively-short period of time.
Ceramics by Rose Cabat, 1950s. Photo courtesy of TMOF.
Glazed vessel by Robert Maxwell, 1960s. Photo courtesy of Savacool and Sons.
Desert bowls by Glen Lukens, 1935–45. Photo courtesy of Architectural Digest.
Serving platter by Edmund Ronaky, 1950s. Photo courtesy Ink361.
Works by Harrison McIntosh, 1960s. Photo courtesy of the Eichler Network.
Maddux of California Pottery platter. Photo courtesy of Brownfield Supplies.
Pottery by David Cressey, 1960s. Photo courtesy of Hildebrandt Studio.
Casual California Pitcher by Vernonware, 1953. Photo courtesy of Ruby Lane.
Ash Tray by Jacquin California Artware, 1960s. Photo courtesy of Artfire.
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Len Collective all began with the passion of jewelry designer Shannon Len. From creating herbal tinctures with her mother and sister, to collecting sage along the Big Sur coast, she has always respected honest, devoted creators with similar respect for the earth. As a long-time collector of unique artisan goods from across the globe, she eventually curated her own space of beauty and inspiration. Len Collective is now a brick and mortar shop in San Luis Obispo, CA featuring handmade jewelry, natural apothecary, home goods, and one-of-a-kind gifts.
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