1 In inspire

Go Bold: Our Salon-Style Wall in Gold

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Gallery walls are nothing new, from family portraits to the traditional salon rooms of Versailles they are a beautiful way to make a statement. A melting pot of culture and aristocracy, French salons galvanized the Enlightenment period with avant-garde art exhibitions as the backdrop for literary and political discussions. Held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation, a salon gathering allowed people from varying backgrounds and wealth a common place to discuss a wide array of topics.

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0 In discover

In the Atelier with Matt Wlotkowski of Rough Sawn Detroit | Featured November Artist

As a company built by creatives for creatives we are truly inspired by the makers, out-of-the-box thinkers, and artists. We search and seek out the modern, whacky, and beautiful objects. From local painters to far-away potters, and everything in between. fleurdetroit is committed to finding and supporting artists and small businesses from all over the world.

This month’s featured item is made right here in Detroit! Rough Sawn Detroit is handmade from local finds, with votive holders starting at $25 these are a great housewarming or thinking of you gift.

Tell us about your workspace: Where do you do your creating and what tools do you use? What’s the most important tool in your workshop?

I work out of my dad’s workshop in Royal Oak, he has been woodworking as long as I can remember, and I kind of picked it up from him.

I use a wide variety of tools in the shop, table saw, planer, jointer, drill press, and sanders. Between my dad and I we have a fairly wide range of tools, that have accumulated over the years from a wide range of projects.

I think the most important tool in the shop is the table saw, it seems to get used on a daily basis.

How do you go from an idea to a finished product? Do you begin with sketches or start hands-on with the materials? What’s your workflow like?

I start most of my projects by trying to fill a need – if I need a lamp, I make a lamp. I wanted a couple of side tables for the basement so I took some old pallets off a job and made them into side tables. A lot of times I will find some material and then figure out what I will make from it.

I have never been very good at drawing, but that being said I do try to sketch projects first, and the rest of the time I just start cutting.

Workflow seems to move in waves, being that my woodworking is more of a hobby at this point I only take on as much as I can handle in my free time.

Where do you find inspiration?

I am constantly looking at what other people have done transforming designs in a way to make them my own.

I have always loved mid-century modern design: Eames, Girard, Platner, Saarinen and the like. I try to take my cues from design of that era.

What’s next on the horizon for your shop? 

There are a few things in the works, a couple of large coffee tables and a reclaimed dining room table are on the list. I recently acquired a few large live edge boards and now I just need to find the right project for them.

What are your goals for the future?

I would love to just keep on making things that push me to get better at the craft and it is always nice to make a little bit of money while doing so. It would be great to ultimately have a showroom one day, but for now I’m happy just spending time in the shop.

0 In narrative

A Day at the Pumpkin Farm

When our city tires left the comfort of the well-known paved streets and bumped along the gravel roads of the country we knew we were getting close. As our small caravan pulled up next to a partly finished barn we were greeted by the constant commotion of a working farm – trucks pulling flatbed trailers down well-worn dirt paths as people picked the best pots for that week’s market, shouts of hello to the newcomers, and bouts of laughter in the distant fields. We had arrived.

With the summer growing season behind us the greenhouse was beginning to show signs of hibernation; plastic pots stacked at the end of the aisles, stubborn zinnias and sweet potato vine thriving in the unattended corners, and baskets of Indian corn being readied for market. After touring the greenhouse, we all jumped into the pickup truck and headed out to the first pumpkin field, also known as the giant pumpkin patch. Rows and rows of the largest pumpkins they grew this year, some weighing as much as 150 to 200 pounds.

With the largest pumpkins selected we jumped back in the truck to head to the gourd fields. Bumping along the dirt path gave us a chance to enjoy the slight breeze as our eyes wandered the vast fields of kale and corn. The gourds were a little harder to spot when we arrived, hiding under twisted vines and large leaves shading them from the sun. The search began, finding the most unusual and uniquely colored gourds became a scavenger hunt. With little visibility we began to wander further from the dirt road, weaving our way through different gourd varieties. The hard part was finding our various piles of gourds at the end of the day.

It was finally time to load up the truck and bring all of our finds back to fleurdetroit! We began with the largest pumpkins, bundles of corn stalks, baskets of Indian corn, and piles of hand-selected gourds. It was a successful day at the pumpkin farm.

0 In discover

In the Atelier with Valorie Scherr of Mornin’ Glori Pottery | Featured September Artist

As a company built by creatives for creatives we are truly inspired by the makers, out-of-the-box thinkers, and artists. We search and seek out the modern, whacky, and beautiful objects. From local painters to far-away potters, and everything in between. fleurdetroit is committed to finding and supporting artists and small businesses from all over the world.

This month’s featured item comes to us all the way from Las Vegas! Each pot was hand-thrown and stamped with fleurdetroit, at $30 it is the perfect housewarming or thinking of you gift (includes plant).

In the Atelier with Valorie Scherr of Mornin' Glori Pottery

In the Atelier with Valorie Scherr of Mornin’ Glori Pottery

We’re in the studio with Valorie Scherr, the artist behind-the-wheel of Mornin’ Glori Pottery. Valorie creates beautiful and functional pottery from her studio in sunny Las Vegas.

“The process of working with clay on the wheel is meditative and relaxing for me,” she claims when asked what drew her to pottery. She enjoys long days, and nights, in her garage studio playing with the endless possibilities of clay, form, and glazing techniques.

Here’s our exclusive interview with Valorie Scherr:

Tell us about your workspace: Where do you do your creating and what tools do you use? What’s the most important tool in your workshop?

I do mostly functional pottery – mugs, berry bowls, nesting bowl sets, noodle bowls – to name a few.  I also have a line of yarn bowls for knitters and something I call a thread pot for quilters. This last item came to be from my own experiences as a quilter before I was introduced to ceramics. It is a great example of how I took an idea of something more decorative yet functional to hold large spools of thread from concept to reality.

How do you go from an idea to a finished product? Do you begin with sketches or start hands-on with the materials?

The process I use is a hands-on visual progression of ideas to a finished product that is functional yet aesthetically pleasing. I enjoy doing custom orders and working out the logistics to make it happen.

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration all around me.  In ceramic publications and other artist’s processes, in tableware in a restaurant to forms in nature.  There is a balance in the form that pushes me to work the clay till it feels right.  That process happens in the throwing and trimming all the way through the surface decoration and finally the glazing and firing.

What’s next on the horizon for your shop? What are your goals for the future?

My online store is my main focus of getting my work to the public.  I have started to push myself to enter juried ceramic competitions to raise my work to another level of quality and creativity.  I hope to have my work in more galleries and to continue to do a few markets throughout the year.

In the Atelier with Valorie Scherr of Mornin' Glori Pottery

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0 In learn

Create a Living Office Space

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Using plants in your office space is a great way to add some much needed greenery indoors. Not only do plants help relieve stress, they also improve office morale and productivity…not to mention the improved air quality! Through their natural process of photosynthesis, plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen back into the air, thus making the air fresher! Studies have shown that even just a couple indoor plants can help those suffering from asthma and allergies.

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0 In learn

Caring for your Garden in the Summer

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Break out the lake toys and margaritas, summer is here and it is starting to feel like it! With temperatures reaching 90* our gardens are becoming vibrant and…thirsty! Every season has its challenges between the winter chill and summer heat we have to watch our watering and fertilizing schedules. Now is the time to get into a summer plant routine, marking your calendars with reminders. Here are some tips and tricks to keep your garden happy and healthy until it is time to switch it over for autumn!
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0 In learn

Caring for Succulents

In cooler regions, like the Midwest, succulents become more prevalent during late spring and summer. We are often asked what the best way to care for these delicate, albeit easy to care for, desert dwellers. Our best advice when determining care for a new plant is to think about the plant’s natural habitat. Succulents occur naturally in hot, dry environments with heavy bouts of rain during monsoon season.

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0 In narrative

Blue Week in Ohio – A Day Trip to Kitty Todd

A good girl friend of fleurdetroit and plant enthusiast always manages to take me on the best day trips. Last week’s trip found us in Ohio at the Kitty Todd Nature Preserve. Our goal was to see the native lupines in full bloom and to catch a glimpse of the rare Karner Blue butterfly which calls these vast stands home.

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