Sunday, March 6, 2011

Designing Dinosaur

Quick! What's the first technological invention?

Let Dino the dinosaur put you to the test!


If you guessed either the wheel or fire, you're right!  It's unclear what came first.

Roll Fire
Conmoto and Sieger Design

 Now you can have your cake and eat it, too, with this portable fireplace.  It has tempered glass so that you can see through; how cool is that? And an added bonus is that you can hang it on the wall.  All for $3800, it measures 25.5" diameter x 9" wide. I think it is a bargain as you can take it with you wherever you move, whether cave or castle.

Lascaux Cave, France

Who hasn't been fascinated with caves?  I've always enjoyed exploring caves and it was one of the highlights of my life to visit this prehisotoric cave a few years ago.  Although we're about 35,000 years beyond the cave dwellers of Lascaux (65 million years since the dinosaurs), I feel an affinity for cave decor. Must be the collective unconscious that Carl Jung described.  Whether I'm dragging home a tree stump or a rock to use as furniture, I enjoy making connections with our pre-history. Caves are regarded as places of safety, security and refuge. They can also be mysterious, unexplored parts of ourselves, awaiting personal discovery. 

Maartje Lammers
Interior Design

Here's a contemporary interpretation of the cave as refuge. It has a nice, organic feeling, not a straight line in sight!  I like the 1948 Charles and Ray Eames chairs, but personally I can do without the animal furs.  I think faux throws and animal print fabrics are more politically correct in this day and age.

Petrified Wood
Various sizes

Tree stumps are always good for a natural connection with Mother Earth.  These would be a nice foil to both antique and contemporary furniture pieces.

Renee Celeste Flanders
Interior Designer
I like to design with logs, sticks, bones and cast-off horns. I also am a rock hound. Let's just say I am a graduate of the School of Rock and Roll.  Actually the "rock" on this table is called slag, a by-product of coal. There is a chunk of white marble below the windows, and on top of the sideboard, do you see the three black rocks? Surprise - they are Styrofoam! I carved and sprayed them with faux granite paint. They defy the rules of physics!

Renee Celeste Flanders
Interior Designer

It seemed like the right thing to put rocks in the fireplace for a textural look.  They're hot glued onto a board that can be removed when the winter season sets in and you want an actual fire.

While we're on the subject of cave-inspired interiors, I must mention hammocks.  If space allows in a bedroom or family room, do consider including this indescribably relaxing invention.  It can hang nicely against the wall as a soft sculptural element when not in use.  This is always a very popular item for a teenager's room.

Third Chinese horse
Painting on rock.  Black pigment: manganese oxide.
Lascaux Cave, Motignac, Dordogne, France

Of course, we must not forget the art.  One would expect to see this level of artistry in the Louvre.  Have we really come so far?  It's hard to do better than those artists of 35,000 years ago!  Makes me want to do some paintings on my masonry basement walls.  Who knows what iconographic or metaphorical images might present themselves?  I would start with vine charcoal, a slender twig that never fails to put me in touch with my primitive relatives from so long ago!

Pablo Picasso

Picasso has a style that reminds me of the cave paintings. Lyrical and beautiful renditions of animals.

Lepanto I
Cy Twombly
One of three cardboard plate engravings printed as monoprints on Japanese paper
28.4"  x 20.1"
Edition by Julie Sylvester

Twombly is another artist that comes to mind when I think of cave art.  His scratchings and gestural expressionism are epic narratives of ancient myths.  End of story:  let's not limit ourselves when  designing our homes and businesses. Try getting in touch with your inner caveman for some truly enduring design and rock on!

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