The Széchenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest spans the Danube river, connecting the Western and Eastern parts of the city. Opened in 1849, the bridge is named after Count István Széchenyi, who financially and politically supported its construction. Made of beautifully intricate wrought iron, the bridge was greatly damaged during the Siege of Budapest during World War II , and was partly rebuilt.
While exploring Budapest our designers came across a magnificent lion gracing the abutments at the end of the bridge.
He is a smaller stone replica of the famous bronze Trafalgar lions, guarding Nelson’s Column in London. and was installed on the bridge in 1852. Inspired by his noble features, our designers created this stylish shirt:
Know any little lions in your life? You can find this shirt here.
Emerik Fejes was a Serbo-Croatian painter well known for his simplistic depictions of architecture and cities. Part of the “naive art” movement, Fejes’s work is almost childish in nature, using bold colors and thick solid lines. Unconventional in his techniques, he chose to use matchsticks to paint instead of paintbrushes.
A button and comb maker, Fejes didn’t start painting until later in life, and drew much of his inspiration from postcards. When visiting Hungary you can apparently find many of his works in miniature, on postcards themselves! I really enjoy his work, and his use of cheerful colors and warped depths of field. Obviously slightly eccentric, he is also rumored to paint with a cat under one arm. I love that when researching him, the only biographical photo I could find of the artist is this one below :
Our neighbors in San Francisco, Mod Cloth, featured a great interview on their blog recently with Stephanie Baum on her company Steff Bomb. Her handcrafted plush food characters contain so much personality, and I love how she can take something as abstract as a giro and give it a face and persona.
Everybody looks a little worried…perhaps because they’re about to be eaten?
Check out some really fun interviews with Stephanie about her creative process here and here.
In the spirit of celebrating Etsy artists from the region of Old World Hungary, here is another new favorite. Eszter Schall is a Hungarian painter, graphic designer, and illustrator. I love her bold use of colors and her use of squares.
Feeling lucky? The blog Pika Land is doing a giveaway of one of Schalle’s pieces on their site here.
While exploring Etsy the other day I came across the fabulous creations of Judit Wild (Vadjutka). Born in Hungary, she lives in Budapest and is a jewelry maker, a photographer, blog writer, and sociologist who focuses on media research. In her words “Almost 20 years after the turn of the system in Eastern-Europe, arts and crafts business started to flourish – as well as civic society…. giving an inspiring atmosphere to work in.”
I find her jewelry fun and unusual, and I keep going back and forth about which piece I want. Although she’s in Hungary she does ship to the USA, and if you live in Budapest you can even have them hand delivered to your home!
With Halloween just around the corner, these potato print tees are a perfect activity to get everyone in the mood for costume making. Robin Rosenthal, a graphic designer and illustrator based out of Brooklyn, came up with a great blog post for creating these shirts at home. She shared her idea with LMNOP Magazine in their 12th issue.
Potato printing is great as it’s inexpensive, easy, and accessible for all ages. Potatoes absorb ink or paint surprisingly well, and can then be used to stamp onto just about anything, such as paper, fabric, or walls. To learn how to create shirts with your kids like ones above, click here. Potato printing can be done at any time of year with any theme or idea, but if you’re already cutting up pumpkins, why not add potatoes to the mix?
Ahh! I can’t get enough of this blog. Amateur Couture brilliantly pairs beautiful artwork with gorgeous fashions. My favorites are the ones that aren’t too obvious – just perfectly paired compliments. So gorgeous.
While Laura and Emily were off exploring Old World Hungary, the rest of the design team went on our own inspiration trip to our local library. It was a really fun and inspiring trip. It was a great way for us to start making our own discoveries about the cultures of Old World Hungary. I hope it becomes a Tea tradition – so that each season we can start our inspiration process at the library.
I decided to research fine art of the region and discovered Nicolae Tonitza. I loved the painterly floral and leaf patterned backgrounds. The graphic dark circular eyes and dark line work is such an interesting contrast to the textural detail of the rest of the paintings. He had an impressive ability to communicate emotion through his paintings. There is such a sweet innocence in his paintings of children, while his paintings of older women are much more somber.