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Unison In Process: Inside The Humboldt Collection

Historic Inspiration for a Reimagined Bedding Collection

On the near-west side of Chicago lies a community that represents the very fabric of America—interwoven cultures marked by dynamic social change and overlapping styles, all evolving and thriving amidst a backdrop that’s notable as much for its historic landmarks as its decidedly urban charm.

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Centered around a sprawling, 207-acre park, the Humboldt Park neighborhood is one part fast-paced cultural hub, one part serene oasis in the midst of the modern bustle. It’s simultaneously classic and modern, diverse and determined, everlasting and yet always somehow new.

What could be better inspiration than that?

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Named for this historic community in our own beloved hometown, our Humboldt bedding collection is designed to reflect the area’s longevity and beautiful wear.

Inspired by the hand-woven look, unique texture, and 2-sided pattern of classic madras plaids, this bedding is as casually chic as a fresh-air picnic. Unison co-founder Robert Segal parlayed this inspiration into his original drawing for the pattern, and production designer Erica Lubetsky then translated that drawing into an engineered plaid.

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The result was a simpler, sleeker pattern—more modern in tone. Then, we scaled it up for a strong, graphic punch and got ready to convert the carefully considered design into a textile.

First, material: we selected yarn-dyed cotton in an oxford weave, to showcase the delicate blending of colors.

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The linens have a basket weave construction, which creates a checkerboard effect with white, producing a softer tone that is perfectly suited to a mellow-cool bedroom. To get the contrast just where we wanted it, we selected darker, more saturated yarns that would blend into the perfect finished hue.

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As a final detail, we engineered each side of the duvet with a lighter blue, asymmetrical stripe on one side, so that when the bed is made with covers turned back, a stripe appears on each end.

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Looks like you might actually start to enjoy making your bed in the morning.

Shop Humboldt Bedding 20% Off now thru 02/26, shop the White Sale here.

 

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Unison In Process: What is Matelassé?

What is Matelassé?

When you envision your dream bedroom, what description comes to mind? We’ll take beautiful, cozy, and plush. And, if it’s possible to fuse whistle-clean high style with a dash of homey goodness, we might be nearing perfection.

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Enter matelassé.

Developed in France in the late 18th century, the matelassé weaving or stitching technique was originally designed to imitate quilting. In fact, in its original French, the word “matelassé” (pronounced mat-luh-SAY) means “quilted” or “cushioned,” and the material was created to mimic the style of hand-stitched quilts made in Marseille.

By virtue of its pattern and weave, the technique achieves a padded appearance without any padding within the fabric. A single-ply, typically woven material, matelassé is often used for coverlets and decorative shams today.

A matelassé is made with either 3 or 4 sets of yarns, with 2 sets serving as the regular warp and weft yarns and the other set(s) as crepe or coarse cotton yarns. When woven together, these yarns are crisscrossed. And when finished, the crepes or cottons shrink, producing that defining, puckered detail.

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Sleeping In Style

The best matelassé will retain the hand-quilted look that has defined this material since its inception. Since it is thicker than a sheet-grade fabric, matelassé is quite durable and delivers a refined, tailored look.

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With a texture similar to a fine quilt or bubbly brocade, matelassé is often patterned in elaborate florals or (our personal favorite) simple geometrics. It is at once luxurious and easy to care for, with its strong weave and typically cotton material.

These factors add up to something we all value: stylish beauty. But its versatility is the characteristic that renders matelassé material so timeless. With its rich texture, it delivers depth and communicates style. But its clean, often neutral palette also makes it easy to combine with the overall look of any bedroom – whether clean and simple or bright and bold.

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At Unison, we source our matelassé duvets, shams, and coverlets from Portugal, where the textile trade dates back to the late 1700s. With a tradition of high-quality product delivered at fair prices, Portugal’s network of fine textile manufacturers is today considered among the most distinguished in the world.

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Our particular vendor has been working in matelassé for over 18 years—a deep and rich history that is stitched into the very fabric of our Himmeli bedding, which is produced on a jacquard power loom. The gorgeous, starburst-like pattern is selected through a controller—a computer that communicates stitch-by-stitch weaving instructions to the loom. These looms ensure a plush, hand-quilted look, while high-quality cotton delivers an elegant hand.

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So as you’re drifting off into sweet, stylish slumber, you can enjoy pleasant dreams of the rich traditions, caring hands, and impeccable designs that have contributed to your perfect tuck in.

Himmeli Matelassé Bedding is now 20% Off thru 02/26 shop the White Sale here

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Get Creative With Valentine’s Gifting

Stumped on what to get that special someone this Valentine’s Day? We’ve got plenty of great gift ideas, including a video tutorial with creative wrapping tips and tricks to impress your sweetheart.

Read on to see our picks + watch the video:

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Cube Drink Rocks, $40

The perfect accessory for the cocktail drinker in your life who likes to keep things neat. Pop these in the freezer and when you’re ready to serve up a drinks, they’ll keep it cold without diluting your cocktail.

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Trophy Brass Bar Jigger, $20

Measure out your spirits in style with the Trophy Brass Bar Jigger from experimental design studio, Umbra Shift. Double sided with 3 shot measurements, 1/2 oz, 1 oz and 1.5 oz it combines great design with functionality to boot, cheers Valentine!

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Sprinkles Red Apron, $30

Serve up your sweetheart with the Sprinkles Red Apron, designed by Chicago-based creative Alex Fuller. Made of 100% cotton, it’s a standout kitchen staple that will make your valentine dressed to impress.

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Rout Etch Double Old Fashioned Glasses, $16 each

Celebrate your love with stunning glassware that’s definitely cheers-worthy. Rout Etch Glassware fuses a clean-lined, modern look with fluid texture at its base, and is ready to showcase anything you’re mixing up!

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Virtu Cheese Knife Set of 4, $120

Sometimes Valentine’s Day can get pretty cheesy, but not too worry because this knife set is up for the task. Beautifully balanced in their clean-lined silhouette and carefully considered ergonomics, they make a striking addition to any entertainer’s table.

Shop our Valentine’s Gift Guide for more great gift recommendations!

Watch our video tutorial for some great wrapping ideas with our wrapping paper + washi tape:

Stay tuned for more tutorials on the blog and share the love!

Follow us on instagram: @unisonhome

Special thanks to  Potluck Creative  for the great video work!

 

 

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Himmeli: Art in Another Dimension

For anyone who has ever gazed at the night sky and outlined the forms of constellations in your mind’s eye, you’ve already begun to experience the quintessentially Finnish art form known as a himmeli.

Originally crafted as Christmas decorations, the first himmeli—a Finnish adapted name derived from the Swedish words for sky or heaven—were created centuries ago by Finnish peasants. At the time, women in small villages expertly threaded lengths of straw to form decorative geometric shapes reminiscent of the constellations, or of what some believed to be signs from heaven.

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Once complete, the himmelis were hung above the festive meal table at Christmastime, decorating the inside of the villagers’ tupas or log homes.

“By their ordered nature, these balanced constructions invoke the image of cosmic constellations that suspended and slowly moving in regulated courses, make rhythmic patterns in the sky, impelled to do so by an unseen will. The celestial connection is not fortuitous: it is believed that himmelis were inspired by the story of the appearance of the glittering star that announced the birth of Christ.” *

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In the 1950s, artist Saara Hopea-Untracht began crafting numerous himmelis, “as these constructions well suited her propensity for geometric design forms.” *

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And her standout pieces influenced Unison’s own Alicia Rosauer in creating our himmeli pattern.

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Set on versatile gray, our table and kitchen linens are as festive for the holidays as they are ready for spring, summer, or fall. And stain-resistant cotton sateen keeps messes at bay, leaving the himmeli pattern at center stage.

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Over the years, different artisans have put their own spin on the making of himmelis. Some have mixed the time-honored form with modern-day materials, such as the Prisma pieces in our current collection, which could hang above any table or stand alone as a piece of art.

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Whether you believe in the himmelis’ mystical powers, as did the Finnish villagers of old, or are simply captivated by the rich history and striking, airy geometry of these many-faceted shapes, a splash of himmeli design is sure to add a new dimension to your home.

* Source: Saara Hopea-Untracht: Life and Work. Written by Oppi Untracht 1988 ISBN 951-0-14377-4

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Shapes & Style Down South: At Home With Designer Alex Fuller

We often work with artists we admire and, together, imagine new essentials for modern living. One of our favorite collaborators is Alex Fuller, a Creative Director who just relocated from Chicago to Charleston. Alex’s sensibility is fascinating — he’s drawn to shapes and colors because he thinks of them as “the fundamental building blocks of our universal language.” This leaves us endlessly intrigued and we couldn’t wait to see how he integrated these design elements into his new home.

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Alex gave us a sneak peek while we snapped some photos of him at home with his wife, Jessa, and dog. Says the designer of their decor style, “We quickly fall into the Mid-Century Modern camp. Eames, Modernica, Blu Dot … all the hits. When people come to our house in Charleston they feel like they’re in East L.A. I can see it, it’s got that Cali Mod flavor. Not to mention we have a lot of plants and tropical foliage around.”

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You’ll also see evidence of Alex’s early projects with Unison scattered throughout his new Charleston home. As a bit of background, we first teamed up with him few years ago when we had Spudnik Press make reproductions of his “Geometry” print — a study in strong lines, sweeping curves and bright, colorful punch. At the time, Alex was a creative at Ogilvy Mather and a founder of The Post Family. He moved on to Leo Burnett as a Creative Director and, around the same time, we expanded the Geometry print to throw pillows. Later, the pattern was modified to be a bit smaller and given new life as a framed lithograph, printed bedding, ottomans, bags and kitchen linens.

“We seek a balance of beautiful, tried and true design; and the warmth and personality of art, plants, music, books and sculptural objects,” says Alex. “I wish I could live in a minimalist Japanese home made from plywood but I love being surrounded by things with stories, collections with ideas. You know … a little texture, a little noise.”

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Because of Alex’s knack for giving rhythm and order an inventive, modern kick, we naturally turned to him when we began thinking about creating an alphabet print. With Alex’s modern Bauhaus take on the ABCs, Alphablocks was born. This pattern graces bedding, artwork, canvas bins and even poufs (which Alex and Jessa’s dog uses it as a soft perch!).

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Inspired by the Memphis design rebirth, we asked Alex to develop some other ideas. We’ve launched his Tango pattern, a zigzag-laden geometric graphic on black, as a knit blanket and pillow (seen in these photos). Other ideas are in the works and will launch in spring.

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This designer has so many ideas and always amazes us with his consistency. We love the outcome of his designs on fabrics and paper … and might even try shirts out in 2016. Alex is wearing one in these photos.

We hope these photos leave you inspired. Thanks for inviting us into your new home, Alex and Jessa!

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Photography credit: Olivia Rae James

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Styling Adventures with Kyla Herbes of House of Hipsters: Part II

Last week we gave you the heads up about our styling adventures with blogger Kyla Herbes from House of Hipsters. We are excited to show you what came of it!

Remember, Kyla wanted help working pillows into her room, so we sent our Visual Merchandising Manager Lisa Boudreau out to her home to explore the possibilities. Kyla’s living space — which she shares with her husband and two small children — is a sea of neutral colors, interesting textures and original furnishings. Lisa saw the potential, and worked with Kyla to pick out pillows from Unison’s fall collection and group them in just the right places.

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From left to right: Sailor Charcoal Throw PIllow, $40-65; Dots Black Throw Pillow, $40-65; Harvest Black Throw Pillow, $45-65

For Kyla, working with Unison was a natural fit. “I focus on mid-century modern. However, I don’t like my house to look like it walked off the set of The Brady Bunch,” she says. “This can be a fine line to walk. The home decor found at Unison is easily integrated into my style. It brings my 1960s-’70s vibe into the present. The black, white, ultra-modern with a bold hue here and there … it comes alive.”

Lisa agrees, saying, “Kyla has a great understanding of design and how to interpret current trends in a way that is unique to her and the architecture of her home.”

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Read on for a Q&A with Kyla (and get tips from Lisa, along the way) to find out more about their styling adventure.

Unison: Let’s talk pillows. Why do you think they’re important home accessories?

Kyla: Pillows can transform a room. They’re a great way to interject you favorite color, pattern and, here we go again with that infamous word, personality. Look at your sofa and imagine it without pillows. Now imagine it with bright hot pink and turquoise floral pillows. Now picture them navy blue with white anchors. Now change that to stripes or polka dots or your most favorite color or better yet, your least favorite pattern. Pillows just give your room that extra pop of pizzazz. They can make your room look effortlessly chic. It’s like your space is the hot guy in high school, and he comes and picks you up in a red Camero. Now, if he showed up in a beat up, rusted out Pinto, you’d still think he was hot, but the Camero adds a bit of extra excitement.

Lisa: “I really do believe in the power of pillows. They quickly and easily transform a space and convey a mood. Adding warm or cool tones will instantly effect a space overall. They can also serve as a unifying element in the over arching design of the space. In Kyla’s room I styled a sofa with three different groupings of pillows. Each group worked great within the design framework already established by Kyla and complemented the space. However, the final group selected visibly lifted the space making it lighter, brighter and reinforced Kyla’s vision.

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Unison: What have you learned are key pillow styling tips?

Kyla: Edit your color palette and patterns. Too many and it just gets too crazy. You don’t need them growing jazz hands, screaming, “Look at me! Look at me!” Don’t be afraid to take a couple back home and return what doesn’t work for you. I suffer from this disease, which is how I wound up with pillow problems.  Pillows can look completely different when you get them into the space. Oh, and don’t forget to throw in a solid or two to break things up.

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Kyla’s pillow collection!
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Kyla’s new, pared down pillow arrangement. Clockwise: Dots White Linen Throw Pillow, $62-88; Color Block Graphite Throw Pillow, $60-70; Harvest Black Throw Pillow, $45-65

Lisa: Take cues from your art and other accessories in the room. Pillows on your couch don’t have to necessarily be in the exact style or period as your art, but can help establish your color theme and ground the room. Pulling out the cool tones from Kyla’s artwork and accent pieces helped to unify the space. With the new pillows you could really feel the beech vibe from her mantle artwork fill the whole space.

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Also, don’t be afraid to be bold and combine different prints and patterns, but keep the number of patterns lower to round 3 or 4. Consider color and scale. Take the time to consider complementary colors in your space. Consider the size of the pillows in each group but also the scale of the print.

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Unison: We loved this project with you! What did you think of it all?

Kyla: Styling with pillows is truly an art form that is not easy to grasp. Not only do you have the colors and patterns but there is also oversized pillows, square, lumbar. So it’s great when you have experts like Unison to lend a helping hand. {The new fall pillows} worked with what I had and together we really made my room come together … a room where I’ve had a revolving door of pillows for years.

Unison: Do you have any “rules” you follow for designing and decorating your own pad?

Kyla: When something catches my eye, that thing that makes my heart sing, I snap it up! Rule número uno: Never leave it behind. Ever. This rule especially is true when shopping vintage. You grab that sucka and hold on to it for dear life.

Rule #2: Create Pinterest mood boards. This helps me to visually see if everything in the space is jiving before committing. If you can handle the criticism, share it with friends whose style you admire. Take only the suggestions you want. It wasn’t until I started to publicly share my home with complete strangers that I became incredibly motivated and inspired.

Rule #3: Buy items unique to you. Make your home a memorable place to visit. Make it special. Make it unique. It doesn’t have to be trending to be beautiful.

Rule #4: Don’t rush it. Let the pieces find you. Take your time and channel your inner patience. This is the hardest piece of advice to follow myself, but I’ve found that when I don’t settle and look for that one amazing piece to come to me, the space looks incredible. You will eventually find it.

Unison: What are your three favorite things in your home and why?

Kyla: First and foremost, I own a vintage 1960s Model 20 dip-n-dunk photo booth. It’s the best party favor ever and a great memory maker. I purchased it to document my family when my daughter was born.

Second is my collection of vintage mug shots. Yes, they are totally creepy, but incredibly unique. Guests usually gaze at them for quite some time, examining everything from the outfits, to hair, whether they are good looking or not. The first question is usually, “Are these REAL mug shots?” When I first bought them, I started to Google their names. I found a few along with their stories, and they suddenly became incredibly creepy. So that ended abruptly.

Ok, third favorite thing. It’s a toss up. Don’t tell my son, but he just bought this boss 1983 GMC jacked-up pickup truck, and I secretly adore it. Every time I drive it, I giggle like a little kid. I can also easily haul more furniture and decor to my home. The other really isn’t a thing, it’s a space in the house … so this is technically cheating. But I love, love, love my patio. We reno’d it a couple years back, and it finally all came together this summer. Even though we live in a cold weather climate, we’ve been able to use it as an extension of our living area nightly. Being able to enjoy the outdoors, away from technology and TV, well, it’s just an awesome place to hangout and reconnect.

Unison: Mixing things up with budget and style is always fun. What’s one “high” piece of home style you love or might have in your home, and one “low” piece?

Kyla: I’m an advocate of buying a higher end piece of art as an investment piece that grows with you. There’s nothing wrong with buying artwork that is trending, but I think there’s something to say for buying a unique piece that no one else has or a piece that few people have. And I’m not talking a Picasso original. But finding an original piece of work or a limited run is a great way to showcase your personality. My three “mug shot” photos by Lani Lee would be my “high end” piece. Three oversized, black and white portraits shot mug shot style of famous graffiti artists.

My “low end” piece is anything and everything I’ve thrifted or flea’d. I look around my home and everything is special. I think about their stories …where they came from. Right now I’m staring at a mug with the broken handle. It’s filled with used paintbrushes that belonged to an artist. I bought the mug and brushes at her estate sale for $2. They now sit on display in my living room. I’ll bet she would have never imagined that to happen. I also have a piece of hand formed, handmade pottery I snagged at a thrift store for $2.99. A vintage rattan chair I found online for $15. It doesn’t have to be super-expensive to be beautiful and perfect. These pieces may not be for everybody, but they spoke to me.

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Thanks so much for sharing your home and incredible style with us, Kyla!

And, for all of you out there with style questions, please feel free to stop by our store with questions! We’d be happy to assist you.

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3 Style Resolutions for the New Year

With the ringing in of a new year, Robert & I are making some style resolutions for the coming seasons. 3 resolutions, to be exact. (Why not keep it manageable?)

Each of these 2015 style goals is based on what we’ve learned (or re-learned) in 2014, and we’d like to share them with all of you – and ask you to share your own with us as well!

1. Mix More Patterns, More Often

When it comes to pattern, our tendency has long been to keep things pretty matchy-matchy. But all that’s changing, thanks not only to how the use of pattern has evolved in our own lives and home, but also to how we’ve seen others buy, combine, and live with Unison products. In the end, we’ve learned that combining and contrasting pattern can be more fun and freeing. So we’re resolving to mix it up more than ever this year.

Gray & mint pillows in various patterns

One key tip for making this work in your own pad: vary the scale of patterns. If you’re picking 3 patterned throw pillows to combine (a great number), go for 1 small scale pattern, 1 medium scale, and 1 large scale. Your patterns will play much more nicely together if they’re not competing on the size front.

Black, white, and yellow pillows in mixed patterns

2. Embrace Color Wall Paint

We are still white paint fanatics at home, but bringing color backgrounds onto our photo shoots has definitely created some strong vibes for bold wall color. I doubt we would ever do a whole room, but we have resolved to get into the accent wall, wherever fitting.

A cobalt blue wall sets a backdrop for various flowering plants in vases

A single wall in cobalt blue or pale pink can take a room from fine to fabulous. The trick is using quality paint so that the color shows beautifully and will stand the test of time.

Throw pillows sit against a pale pink backdrop

3. Always Set a Proper Table

Even for a quick breakfast at home, we still set out napkins, the necessary flatware, glassware, and plates. We think it’s of the utmost importance to not only eat together – sharing conversation and face time – but to create a very simple, properly set table when doing so.

A table simly set in black and white

If you do this every day, you’ll soon find yourself going a bit further, using place mats or tablecloths and candles at dinner. Bon appétit!

What about you?

Do you have any style resolutions of your own? We’d love to hear about them in the comments area below.

Happy New Year!

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Aerial by Stephen Eichhorn

Robert and I have had the great pleasure of collaborating with the amazing Stephen Eichhorn, a Chicago-based artist. Stephen’s work is exceptional in that it is primarily collage, using pages from books and magazines – all entirely hand cut with precision. Looking at his works in person one can hardly believe they are not paintings or photographs; they are entirely rich, layered in complexity and perfect in composition.

We regard Stephen’s work so highly we purchased one of his smaller pieces at first sight from a solo show at Ebersmoore Gallery in 2011. We loved the piece so much we thought to ask Stephen about a collaboration, with the challenge to translate one of his collage works into a textile for Unison.

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Stephen Eichhorn in his studio

Before we get into the making of Aerial we asked Stephen to give his perspective on the collaboration and learn what’s next from this amazing artist.

My understanding is that Aerial is based on an original artwork of a collage of canyons. Where did you originally find the canyon image and what initially drew you it?

I source my imagery from a variety of plant and nature based books. While I don’t recall the exact publication, I made the piece in a collage workshop I led during Columbia College’s Digital Print Lab Residency in 2010.

Are you usually taken in by nature or nature-inspired imagery? If so, what is it about it that grabs you?

I do tend to gravitate toward nature and plant based imagery. Through the gathering of collage components I’ve been able to hone in on different mythology, rituals and histories surround the types of flora or foliage.

Would you say there is a “signature” of your work — an aesthetic that surfaces time and time again, or perhaps a theme?

When using found imagery or objects I manipulate the individual components. My hand and craft is present in the work and is a form of “signature”.

You are known for showing your multimedia art in galleries and even runway settings. This Unison project is a different sort of animal. What was this design process like for you? Tell us a bit about if and how your creative process shifted (both technically and creatively) for this particular collaboration.

This collaboration with Unison started with a series of inspiring conversations with Alicia and Robert about our shared interests and aesthetics. Typically my collage and sculptural work is created by hand with no digital mediation.  One of the interesting things about a collaboration is seeing your work through another lens and allowing it to be placed in a new context.  Through those conversations with Alicia and Robert, I was able to see elements to my existing collage work translate into printed matter.

Can you talk a bit about your overall creative process? Do things happen fast and furiously, or are you more methodical.

It is a mix of making quicker moves and being more methodical in the studio. I start by collecting source material and identifying individual images I want to use. I can spend 8-10 hours a day cutting imagery out; I do everything by hand with an exacto knife. The assembly of the individual cut components is typically the more intuitive and quick process. It’s hard to quantify each object since I’m pulling from a collection of collage components that may or may not have been sitting in the studio for a while. In terms of sculpture, it’s the same issue of components/layering/dipping/finishing…I’ve worked on one small piece for over a year before it was “ready”.

Seeing as the Unison products you’re working on are table linens, tell us, just for fun: Are you a big home entertainer? Any good holiday parties or plans at your house coming up?

We’re minimal entertainers but my wife and I are in the process of renovating a 1890’s grey stone. We have a mix of vintage and modern furnishing and are excited to use Unison products like pillows and linens are pops of color and pattern in the house.

How long have you been working as an artist?

As long as I can remember but I’ve been a working studio artist (self-employed) for seven years.

Did you study formally anywhere?

I have a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

What are some other exciting recent projects?

October through December I have a series of large scale prints on view at the CTA Damen Blue Line stop here in Chicago.

 

In February we started the process of selecting a artwork, knowing that producing one of his designs as a textile would take some time since we had not tried halftone screen making yet. Although much of Stephen’s work features flowers, I wanted to try something different since it would launch towards the end of autumn and land closer to the holiday season. A small collage, simply called Aerial, was selected.

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Original art piece, Aerial, by Stephen Eichhorn

 

 

It was an interesting process to develop the design into halftone screens, then select colors and finally the printing on fabric. The end result is a pure case in screen printed textiles, the wonder of ink on cotton, the transformation from two-dimensional design to moving fabric.

Here is a selection of photos taken by Debbie Carlos of the entire process, from development at our studio, to the mill where the Aerial pattern was printed, to our local cut and sew with Robert working on the placement.

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The Aerial fabric appears marbled, etched, rugged, elegant and illuminated all at the same time. As a tablecloth it was the perfect fit in our collection as we had also selected pieces from Fort Standard’s line of granite and marble trivets and candle holders. Aerial tablecloths are also available in putty and in pillows, in black and in patina which features overprinting.

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Alex Fuller for Unison

We fell for Alex’s design sensibilities a couple years ago when we picked up his self published book The Incredible Journey That Is Consciousness by 5×7. The pages are and endless stream of glorious shapes, but we knew there was more to it than just that. Turns out Alex is inspired by the principles of the Bauhaus (us too) and he just loves the geometry of shapes (us too). So beyond his full time job as a Design Director at Leo Burnett, and family member of  The Post Family, he turned out some rad patterns for us. Read on to learn all about what’s in Alex’s head and check out the results of our fabulous new bedding collection Shapes, for adults, kids and babies.

Your book, The Incredible Journey That is Consciousness, along with a poster, inspired the Geometry/Shapes poster you did for Unison. Which eventually led to bedding. How did the book originally come about and what was the inspiration?

The inspiration for the book came from Bauhaus design theory where the 3 primary colors are conceptually paired with the 3 primary shapes. We took that foundation and freely composed spreads.

This is the first time you’ve worked on a home design collaboration. What was the process like for you?

Amazing. I created a lot of little parameters for myself to keep the exploration on track. It helped to limit the amount of scaling and making sure to lock shapes to a strict grid. I made about 50 different patterns and compositions before finding the right density. I also learned a lot about the production process and how to get the most out of a sheet of printed fabric.

Can you talk a little bit about your overall creative process? Do things happen fast and furiously, or are you more methodical?

I came into this project with a strong vision based on the evolution of the book. I knew the building blocks, just needed to explore a spectrum of densities and color permutations based on seasonal trends.

I always start with a creative challenge then build a strong point of view of how to execute against that with research and exploration. By the time I start actually producing executions it’s pretty well sorted and quick to get to that end goal. Think more, design less.

Would you say there is any “signature” of your work? An aesthetic that surfaces time and time again, or a theme or underlying meaning?

I believe my aesthetics are a byproduct of my reductive process. I’m always trying to get to the heart of the challenge and expose that raw purpose.

What draws you to shapes and geometry? And, further to that, would you have any comments on how your shapes designs could be seen as “random yet rhythmic”?

I am drawn to the fundamental building blocks of our visual language. It’s a universal language and full of meaning. Take a triangle for instance. Facing north it represents a male symbol, south a female symbol. Add the color pink and it represents a movement around sexual orientation. Add the color red, it’s Bass beer. It’s also the strongest architectural form. I feel like I could spend a life time learning shapes and colors.

Unison first aimed to have this bedding be for kids and baby but decided to take it into the adult market, too. Did you aim for it to have an ageless feel?

My hope is that by using the building blocks of primary geometry I can design timeless compositions and color can shift audience appeal. The subtle light gray works for an older audience and the bright pastels more for the youngsters.

Now that you’ve delved into home design, anything next in that arena for you?

I am hoping to continue producing more patterned surface designs and extend into furniture and product design.

blackwhite1

As Seen on Design Sponge

We love seeing our product paired with other beautiful textiles (#2 Sailor Charcoal Rectangle below). This week on Design Sponge, Amy Azzarito threw a bunch of black and white pillows together as options for her new living room. We love color, but really, who needs it when you’ve got all these great prints next to one another?