Wednesday, 30 June 2010

In Conversation with Birgit Piskor

BirgitBirgit Piskor


As seen in SNAP July, 2010.


Birgit was introduced to me earlier this year by my dear friend, Liz Mackay of Ambiance Consulting - I actually featured one of her pieces, "Floraform", as one of my eye candies of the week back in February. Since then, I have had the opportunity to get to know Birgit better and have seen the stunning new collection that she is launching; I am excited to announce that Meade Design Group - the blog has the first interview with the artist about her new pieces, complete with photographs and inside information - Enjoy!


"Known for her light, sensual, undulating forms, Birgit’s unique sculptural works are most commonly purchased internationally by art collectors and high-end interior designers. Her work is constantly evolving - from large-scale abstract pieces to fine objets d’art, each of Birgit Piskor’s pieces is individually created with exceptional attention to detail; no two pieces are alike.


Hardworking - and surprisingly strong for her small stature, Birgit channels the industrial essence of concrete into shapes and textures that defy the inherently rigid nature of the medium.  The flowing organic concrete forms she produces are tactile expressions of transformation and visceral moments of beauty.  Each handcrafted sculpture is constructed of only the highest quality materials that are both attractive to the eye and built to withstand the passage of time." -


Iván Meade - What was your first experience with concrete?


Birgit Piskor - I would have to say that my first experience with concrete was when I consciously became aware of it as a thing of beauty rather than just the cold, grey, industrial material that parkades and sidewalks are made of. I was in my early 20’s, excited to be in Barcelona – young and completely ignorant of many things including the genius that was Gaudi. So when I came across his work for the very first time it was mind blowing! I remember feeling completely transfixed by it. It was as if I had accidentally stumbled into some inspired Gothic fairytale. The undulating organic forms, they were so sensual, so impossible. I couldn’t believe it was concrete!


image Rap Series # 5

Fine Sculpture by Brigit Piskor


Iván Meade - What made you choose concrete as your primary medium?


Birgit Piskor - I’m really passionate about my concrete! It appeals to me on so many different levels – it has an ancient history, it is of the earth, it is strong and enduring and, because it has no intrinsic form, concrete is also an incredibly versatile medium. By its very nature concrete embodies the transformative experience. It begins in a messy, wet, fluid state and becomes this solid, stone-like substance, hard and calm, cool to the touch. I love that!



Fine Sculpture by Birgit Piskor


Iván Meade -What inspires you trademark organic, flowing and sensuous forms?


Birgit Piskor - I’m very fortunate to have traveled to some amazing places and to live in an incredible part of the world surrounded by such intense natural beauty. And Nature is absolutely alive with ravishing lines and provocative curves. So seductive. Who can resist?  And in this curved universe there is constant play and creative tension – a ceaseless becoming. This transformation is often terrifying, yet beautiful and absolutely necessary to life.

I also work from a strong sense of my own body and tend to see some element of the female form in virtually everything that I observe.


Birgit Piskor 028  Flora Form – Silver Leaf

Fine Sculpture by Birgit Piskor


Iván Meade - Your sculptures are teeming with lavish and inviting textures. Why is texture such an integral component of your work?


Birgit Piskor -  I remember, years ago, feeling a little uncertain about having people touch my work. They seemed to have this compulsive need to run their hands over my sculptures. It was fascinating because I could see that some people were obviously struggling with the conventions of gallery etiquette while others were unabashedly stroking everything! It made me nervous until I realized that they were actually paying me a very high compliment that it was in fact a form of communication – a communication not only between me and the view but also between the viewer and themselves.

Texture also gives an illusion of movement, and vitality – a visceral sense that a piece is just about to take on another form.


Birgit Piskor 031 Torso by Birgit Piskor


Iván Meade - Are there any sculpture artists whose work you admire?


Birgit Piskor - Absolutely! Barbara Hepworth would probably be first on my list. There is a meticulous purity and, I guess I would say, a certain concentrated stillness to her sculpture that really resonates with me. Her work is also incredibly tactile, rich with human emotion and physical sensuality. It’s so inspiring!

Isamu Noguchi is also on my list for his staggering craftsmanship, profound commitment to simplicity and the poetic suggestiveness of his forms as well as for his playfulness and the fact that he was able to bring modern sculpture into the realm of everyday life.

I also love Henry Moore’s work. 


Neosphere # 1 20L X 20W X 19HNeosphere # 1 by Birgit Piskor


Iván Meade - How long does it take you to create a sculpture?


Birgit Piskor - It generally takes 2 – 6 weeks to complete a sculpture depending on the size of the piece. Now that’s not to say that I am working on a particular piece for that entire length of time but because my medium is concrete, after the initial work is done, a certain curing  period is required. It is only after this chemical reaction is complete that I can apply the final finish be it additional colour, metal leaf, various waxes and oils – whatever it takes to bring alive the beauty and texture of a given sculpture.


imageLady in Waiting – Fine Sculpture by Birgit Piskor


Iván Meade - What type of concrete do you use?


Birgit Piskor - Over the years I have developed my own custom formula, one that affords me the most creative control and freedom while ensuring extreme strength and durability. I work to very exacting standards and my sculptures are built to last for generations. I’m also constantly on the look out for innovative new products, researching the most environmentally sensitive options. For example, I have recently begun using reinforcing fibers made of 100% recycled nylon from reclaimed carpets thereby helping to reduce energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and landfill waste.


Wall Piece 2Relief Sculpture by Birgit Piskor


Iván Meade - How are your sculptures built?


Birgit Piskor - Each of my sculptures is painstakingly hand built and begins with the fabrication of a steel skeleton, or armature, over which I apply successive layers of small hand mixed batches of concrete. Once the final form has emerged, the next important stage is to work the surface. Because this final stage is so crucial to the success of a piece, I will often pause at this point and spend some time reflecting on the form, intuiting my way towards what exactly it is that I am trying to communicate and how best to convey that by means of colour and texture. My process ensures that each piece is an inherently unique creation.



Birgit Piskor working in her Studio

Iván Meade - What puts the “Fine” in Birgit Piskor Fine Sculpture?


Birgit Piskor - You mean besides the fact that they are drop dead gorgeous??? Seriously though, I believe that one aspect that distinguishes my work are the results that I achieve by hand building each piece –a certain intimacy and honesty that arises. I feel quite strongly opposed to casting. In part my opposition is a reaction to what I find to be the distressing societal trend towards valuing lower cost over handcrafted artistry. But it’s mostly because I truly love what I do – the feel of the concrete in my hands, the physical interaction with the piece – there is a kind magic that happens. I rarely have a fixed image in my mind of the finished sculpture. I generally begin with more of a visceral impression of where I want to go. The final form gradually emerges and involves a sort of giving over, or surrender. The process becomes like a beautiful dance that constantly challenges the notion of what concrete can become.

I should also mention that each of my sculptures includes an exclusively designed signature plate as well as a signed certificate of authenticity.


Birgit Piskor 019Fine  Sculpture by Birgit Piskor


Iván Meade - If you could pick one word to describe your work, what would it be?


Birgit Piskor - Wow, that’s a tough one to answer. I suppose if I had to choose, I would say sophisticated. Or alluring… captivating…. provocative… Do I really have to choose just one?



Art in Situ by Birgit Piskor

Space Designed by Susan Hargraves


Iván Meade - As a successful artist, are there any words of advice or lessons learned that you can share with working artists ready to take their art to the next level?


Birgit Piskor - I love my life and where it has taken me but it is definitely not any easy path to walk. Keep the faith, have courage, and work, work, work. Then work some more because there is no substitute for the growth and magic that happens when you are in process!


MAT_2064 Birgit Piskor gold leafing at her Studio



Iván Meade - What projects are you currently working on?


Birgit Piskor - I’m really excited right now to be working on a new line of objets d’art, a series of small scale sculptures that will be perfect for table tops and mantels.


Flora Form 001 Art in Situ – Flora Form by Birgit Piskor

Meade Design Group Studio


Iván Meade - What future projects do you have planned?


Birgit Piskor – There are so many images flooding into my mind at the moment! I'm really eager to start experimenting with some of these new concepts and expect that they will form the core of an exciting new body of work.


I'm also currently trying to secure a solo exhibition in Mexico City early in the new year - I'm over the moon about this potential opportunity!!

 Wall Piece 1

Relief Sculpture by Birgit Piskor 


Iván Meade - You have already gone through many transformations with your work and found great success, what would you like your legacy to be?


Birgit Piskor - I was thinking the other day about my inability to have children and how my life doesn’t have that kind of continuity. Then it occurred to me that my sculptures will still be here for decades to come – they are concrete after all. The fundamentals of life, the pain and the beauty of transformation, cross international and cultural boundaries. I put so much of myself into my work, it is my hope that long after I am gone, whoever sees and touches my work will catch a glimpse of who I was and recognize some aspect of them selves in it.


I invite you to discover Birgit Piskor's work at her website





Ivan Meade is a local designer and principal of Meade Design Group, a multidisciplinary interior and graphic design studio in the heart of downtown Victoria –

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Our First Giveaway – 28.1 Single Pendant by Bocci


image 28.1 Single Pendant


We are very excited to have our first giveaway. To enter to win this fantastic 28.1 Single Pendant by Bocci Giveaway, you just need to follow us – If you are already a follower just sit back and relax, you are already entered.  


There are 3 ways to enter:


1) Become a follower of Meade Design Group – The Blog

2) Like Meade Design Group - Facebook

3) Become a follower of Meade Design Group – Twitter


And of course, the more ways you are connected with us the better your chances of winning.  What are you waiting for?


One very fortunate winner will be chosen on Sunday July 4th at midnight Pacific time and announced on Monday July 5th.






28.1 Single Pendant






Omer Arbel



Blown Glass



4.5”  Sphere – Adjustable cord length



$ 430 + taxes  and shipping



Proudly made in Vancouver this light fixture looks stunning as a pendant or majestic in a big group as a chandelier.  The possibilities to play with the 28 series are endless.   When you are under this light fixture you get a soft warm feeling that is uniquely Bocci.


“28 is a result of a glass blowing technique whereby air is intermittently blown in and then sucked out of an intermittently heated and then cooled glass matrix”.  - Bocci


We want to thank Only Human in Victoria BC for their partnership in this awesome giveaway. 


Only Human is a great source for all things modern and cool, share the love and check out their sites as well:


Only Human Store

Only Human Facebook

Only Human Twitter

Only Human Blog



Boccilicious !!!

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Monday, 21 June 2010

Hanging Out in the Sunshine

Today is the first day of summer – Happy Solstice!!!


I wish we had more sun around here in Victoria BC to enjoy.  But this is not an excuse to share my favourite 10 outdoor furniture pieces for the season.   Furniture pieces where you can relax and read a nice book while you sip a refreshing drink.


Which one would you like to lounge in?

Royal Botania E-Z EZ 195

Designed by Zaki Molgaard and Bo Larsen

Leather Swing by Egg Designs




Royal Botania Wave WV Hammock

Designed by Erik Nyberg and Gustav Ström

Hanging Chair – Habit






Coocon Hammock




Ferlea Outdoor Chair



Hammock Chaise by Poul Kjaerholm



Jiella Chair by Samuli Naamanka



Hansa Hammock

Hansa Hammock





Maia by Patricia Urquiola

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Eye Candy of the Week – Ivresse Des Bois Decanter by Marcel Wanders





Ivresse Des Bois Decanter

Clear Crystal Stopper



Marcel Wanders






Clear Crystal



Clear and Red Stopper



11.61 in



I love the sense of humour in this piece – There is not a doubt that Marcel Wanders is a master of reinventing object that become current while they still maintain the best elements from the past.


This is also a fantastic example in branding.  The top decanter is Marcel Wanders mark.



Boire de l'eau fraîche !!!



MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Sunday, 6 June 2010

In Conversation with Kelly Wearstler

image Kelly Wearstler


Kelly Wearstler started her company, Kelly Wearstler, Inc. one decade ago in Beverley Hills, California (which is incredibly fitting for Kelly as she is known for her luxurious lifestyle). She has since grown to become a household name. Kelly is one of the esteemed judges on BRAVO’s interior design competition show, “Top Design” alongside Jonathan Adler, India Hicks and Margaret Russell. She also has several product lines including fabric and wallpaper lines with Kravet, a carpet line with the Rug Company as well as a multitude of signature bedding, dinnerware and table linens available through fine retailers and her own boutique within Bergdorf Goodman. Kelly has also somehow managed to find the time to pen three books: Most recently HUE 2009, Modern Glamour:The Art of Unexpected Style in 2004 and Domicilium Decoratus in 2005.


Ms. Wearstler has found herself a perfect niche to fit her luxurious contemporary yet unexpected designs, in addition to her residential, retail and office projects, Kelly has also designed several hotels throughout the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean and the Middle East. Her projects are not only published in interior design magazines but also travel, lifestyle, business and fashion magazines.


image Kelly Wearstler for Schumacher


Kelly is also well-known for her high-fashion style, she was named one of the best dressed of 2007 by Vogue Magazine and her public appearances always create quite a stir in the fashion community. She is always the epitome of glamour in her photographs and books, she is beautiful and she knows it! I can always appreciate when people aren’t afraid to show their confidence personally and professionally.


Iván Meade - What was your first experience with design?


Kelly Wearstler - I grew up in a home that was constantly evolving, so I was always surrounded by beautiful and unusual objects, textures and colors. My mother is a closet interior designer. I grew up in an environment where everything was always in a state of flux - I’d come home from school and the dining room would be a totally new color.


My college education [Wearstler received her BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art] and internships with Milton Glaser Inc. in New York and Cambridge Seven and Associates in Cambridge, MA afforded me access to the tools of our trade. I’d be so much less confident today if it weren’t for those years immersed in learning.


image Interior Design by Kelly Wearstler


Iván Meade - Who or what has influenced your style?


Kelly Wearstler - Many people, past and present, inspire my work. It ranges from architects like Carlo Scarpa for his use of unconventional forms, geometric fields, interesting textures, and material juxtaposition to John Woolf for his glamorous interiors, delicate architectural proportion, and graceful details; interior designers from Jean-Henri Jansen for his exquisite panel detailing and fabulous, superior-quality furniture designs to David Hicks for his effortless approach in mixing patterns and his dramatic use of color; furniture designers from Ettore Sottsass, who was an absolute genius when it came to the colorful broad strokes in his architecture, sculpture, and product design, to Maria Pergay, who had a distinct sensuality in her remarkable works; artists from Sheila Hicks, a textile phenomenon with an unbelievable talent for texture, color, and scale to Victor Vasarely for his extraordinary high-voltage use of color and optical illusion; and sculptors from François Arnal for his crisp use of metals and forms in objects and furniture to Pedro Friedeberg for his whimsical, fantastical, and colorful spirit.


In the fashion realm, I admire designers such as Valentino for his dramatic use of color and dynamic patterns, Sonia Rykiel for her color sensibility and avant-garde combinations, and Coco Chanel for her revolutionary use of contrast, texture, fabrics, and weaving.


image Interior Design by Kelly Wearstler


Iván Meade - How would you describe your style?

Kelly Wearstler - Unexpected! My stye is constantly evolving as I gain knowledge about antiquities, uses for different materials... I feel more confident, which means I’m willing to take more risks in my work.


image Kelly Wearstler for Pickard


image Kelly Wearstler for Groundworks


Iván Meade - I think one of your greatest strengths is you ability to maintain and adapt your signature style to be unique to each project. What can no “Kelly Wearstler Project” be without?


Kelly Wearstler - As I said, my style is always evolving, so it’s impossible to pinpoint it exactly; however, I feel that a winning design has a perfect mix of tension and drama.


image Interior Design by Kelly Wearstler


Iván Meade - What do you consider to be your greatest strength and your greatest weakness?


Kelly Wearstler - As a designer, you have to be a great listener. I think my most valuable asset is a combination of perseverance, hard work and loving what I do. The hardest part of my job is being away from my family.


image Interior Design by Kelly Wearstler


Iván Meade - What books are currently on your bedside or coffee table?


Kelly Wearstler - The Berenstein Bears – I usually read to my sons before bed.


imageInterior Design by Kelly Wearstler


Iván Meade - What are you excited about right now in the world of design?


Kelly Wearstler - I get excited about what modern technology can bring to design. Who can ignore the advantages of smarter, greener living?


image Interior Design by Kelly Wearstler


Iván Meade - You are clearly a fashionista, what kind of cues do you take from fashion to use in your interiors (if any)?


Kelly Wearstler - My mantra is to have fun and put unexpected mixes together. That goes for both fashion and interiors. Always be fearless and have fun. If it’s something you love, then just do it. People will always tell you, “Oh, you’re not supposed to do that,” but I’ve found that if you follow your instincts, you can achieve unbelievable results. You step outside of what everyone else is doing and create something that is truly your own.


image Interior Design by Kelly Wearstler


Iván Meade - With such a great sense of style have you ever thought of creating your own fashion line?


Kelly Wearstler - It’s something I’ve always been interested in, so you never know…


image Interior Design by Kelly Wearstler


Iván Meade - You have a brilliant eye for creating patterns and using them in multiple applications. They are contemporary classics. What is your process for creating these striking compositions?


Kelly Wearstler - You can mix and match different patterns as long as they are in the same color palette. I designed my collection of fabrics with Groundworks at Lee Jofa to work seamlessly with one another. Don’t be afraid to try unusual combinations – I always say that the best ideas are born out of risk.


Interior Design by Kelly Wearstler


Iván Meade - What would be your dream project?


Kelly Wearstler - The White House.


image  Interior Design by Kelly Wearstler


Iván Meade - What project has given you the most satisfaction?


Kelly Wearstler - My sons’ bedrooms. When they told me how much they loved their rooms, it was one of the proudest moments in my career.


 image Interior Design by Kelly Wearstler


Iván Meade - You are very experienced in both forms of interior design, what do you find to be the greatest difference or challenge between residential and commercial?


Kelly Wearstler - A residential project tends to be more detail-oriented, and there is generally a bigger budget cost per square foot. Plus, you have an opportunity to work with a broad range of clients who educate you during the design process.


Commercial projects are very sexy because so many people get to experience the space. There is also not as much hand holding in this type of work as with residential projects.


image Interior Design by Kelly Wearstler


Iván Meade - What is your next design venture?


Kelly Wearstler - I just released my third book, entitled HUE, this past Fall. It features all of my latest commercial and residential projects and focuses on color.


I’m currently preparing my first international Viceroy location in Anguilla. It is filled with organic elements, such as driftwood lamps, petrified-wood tables and travertine marble floors, coupled with textiles and techniques from all over the world, including hand-carved wood pieces from Asia and hammered metalwork from India and beaded artwork from Africa. These pieces offer a striking visual contrast to the geometric lines of the architecture and grant a distinct singularity to the resort.


On the product front, I just launched my first collection of dinnerware with Pickard this Fall. There are four different patterns designed to mix and match with one another. I’ve been collecting vintage china for ages, so it was a real treat to be able to create my own collection.




Iván Meade - Lastly, you have already created a stunning body of work with many mediums and styles. What would you like your legacy to be?


Kelly Wearstler - It’s too soon to say… There is still so much more I’d like to do in my career!


image Interior Design by Kelly Wearstler


I invite you discover Kelly Wearstler’s stunning body of work:



MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Friday, 4 June 2010

Princesses for a Day – Happy B-day Echito!


Today we are officially celebrating Echito’s quarter of a century celebration.  Due to the fact that this is an accomplishment we decided that we needed to be “Princesses for a Day”


Our day began with our wardrobe choice [pink dress code – of course!] complete with Tiaras – I didn’t know what I was getting into.




Of course we had to spoil Echito and the team presented her with a  regalito [little present] in the form of Burberry Brit Sheer Perfume [again, pink of course and wrapped in pink] See Echito’s Bridal Celebration for proof of her pink obsession.


A very PINK celebration!


After a long hard day at work we took Echito for lunch to Cactus Club with her Mom and Myself.  Echo’s Mom Sharon brought her a beautiful bouquet of flowers in Pink – of course!




After a very delicious lunch we obviously needed some relaxation so we headed to Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont  Empress for a Balance Body Experience. 


“Total Relaxation. Balance uses the Willow Stream Signature Aromatherapy blend of Vetiver, Cypress, Lemongrass, Ylang-Ylang, and Spikenard oils to balance spirit, body and mind. The experience begins with a footbath and exfoliation, continues with a hydrating oatmeal & honey body scrub (the best we’ve ever tried) and ends with a full body massage. A great experience for relaxation or if you need help sleeping”.


The Spa was very thoughtful  and brought a little gift and Echito’s favourite treat – Chocolate Covered Strawberries [even those were pink chocolate, how did they know?] The service was excellent – Thanks! Christine and Sharon.




All in all it was a pretty rough day, but we survived.   I think I could get used to this “Princess” thing.



and many many mooooooooooore!


MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011