Prairie Home Companion, Salvage Won, Porcelain God
Whimsical porcelain, a modular modernist, and other people, places, and things making news
Published June 5, 2007
edited by Gina Bazer
A Prairie Home Companion
Prairie, the name of artist and interior designer Marcia Weese’s first collection of rugs, has nothing to do with Frank Lloyd Wright and everything to do with real prairies. Palettes of oat, bark, sand, and tomato and patterns of thin, snaking lines recall childhood summers spent “running through grasses taller than my head,” says the daughter of modernist architect Harry Weese. Handwoven in Tibet and Nepal, the rugs take four months to produce and cost $91 per square foot. Available at marciaweese.com or Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers, 607 N. State St., 312-867-4900; thosmoser.com -Lisa Bertagnoli
Emily Pilloton’s Human Nest chair, made of salvaged fabric scraps and a bamboo frame, has garnered her a write-up in The New York Times and a place in Brooklyn’s uber-hip design shop The Future Perfect. But first, it was available at the local design mecca Xyloform, where it can be picked up for $1,800. Be warned, though: just as a bird must maintain its nest, you may need to occasionally restuff your human version. “The idea came out of my thesis research, in which I learned how animals build on their environments using discardedmaterials,” explains Pilloton, a recent grad of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She points out that adding more fabric to your chair makes it not only sustainable but also “customized.” Xyloform, 1423 W. Chicago Ave., 312-455-7949. See more of Pilloton’s creations-from chairs wrapped like mummies to painted tree trunks-at emilypilloton.com.
When the German porcelain manufacturer Nymphenburg decided to open its first and only outpost in the U.S., it called upon Mary Jeanne Reese, owner of the elite Chicago-based fireplace importer Au Coin du Feu. Talk about a perfect marriage: Reese was smitten by the whimsical dinnerware and figurines when she lived near the Nymphenburg Castle (where the 260-year-old company is based) in the ’90s, and she has been a devotee ever since. To help her accommodate the company’s full collection, she commissioned fellow Nymph fan and Oprah regular Nate Berkus to redesign her showroom. Nymphenburg at Au Coin du Feu, 470 N. Milwaukee Ave., 312-421-3500; nymphenburgusa.com