Gem Palace

  

 

Thomas and Michou had a VIP tour of the renown Gem Palace while in Jaipur

The Gem Palace has stood proud as one of India’s iconic jewelry houses for over one hundred and sixty years and the members of the Kasliwal family have maintained a lasting and relevant position in the jewelry trade since the 1700s.

 

The Gem Palace has created heirlooms for emperors, kings, queens, presidents and lm stars and continues to cater to the traditional and contemporary needs of jewelry buyers from across the globe. e story of the Kasliwal family dates back to the XVI Century, during the Mughal empire when the Maharajas, ‘great kings’of India, represented a vision of great splendor and magni cence. It was in the service of these princely rulers, patrons of the arts both in India and throughout Europe, that the Kasliwals rst established their status as legendary jewelers.

 

 

A unique family of aesthetes, the Kasliwals are skilled jewelers and gem cutters who have passed an extraordinary artistry, cra smanship and passion from generation to generation. Appointed court jewel makers by Maharaja Saway Jai Singh II of the Royal family of Jaipur and granted high honors by the British Crown, the Kasliwal family history is deeply intertwined with the history of their native India.

 

 

 

August 14, 2018 by Alech Blumenfeld

Tavolo 2

Thomas & Michou invite you to our inaugural fete “Tavolo”. A Quarterly Art Dinner Series Featuring

Color Story
Judith Tani & Andres Ferrandis

Having split their time between New York and now Miami, Thomas and Michou decided the best way to meet the artist community in Miami is to host a quarterly dinner party inviting the guests into their home to view the featured artist’s work while enjoying a gourmet home cooked meal inspired by the theme of the exhibition.

For their second dinner series edition they have featured Judith Tani and Andres Ferrandis, two artists that use color, form, and texture to evoke the countries for which they each come from and the vibrancy of the Miami culture.

Thomas and Michou are able to utilize all of Thomas Fuchs Creative’s tabletop wears which highlight the artists’ paintings, as well as sculptures, on view in their home for the evening.

Guest List

Thomas and Michou – Hosts

Judith Tani – Featured Artist

Andres Ferrandis – Featured Artist

Jean Labrada – Real Estate Developer

Juan Manuel Alfonso

Ketty and Niko Dimitrakis

Christopher Martinez – Oguy Apparel Proprieter

Mathew Martinez Huron

Menu

The menu for the evening was also inspire by Tony Vazquez-Figueroa’s series Black Surface: The Undoing Process inspired by crude oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 26, 2018 by Alech Blumenfeld

Tavolo

Thomas & Michou invite you to our inaugural fete “Tavolo”. A Quarterly Art Dinner Series Featuring

Tony Vazquez-Figueroa’s Black Surface: The Undoing Process

 

Thomas Fuchs and Michou Mahtani, the creators of Thomas Fuchs Creative homeware, decided the best way to meet the artist community when they moved to Miami, Fl, was to host quarterly dinner parties. They invited guests into their home to view a featured artist's work, while enjoying a gourmet meal inspired by the artwork's theme. They partnered with renowned gallery owners, Sergio and Luisa Cernuda, of LnS Gallery, who specialize in Miami talent to showcase dinners with international artists. 

Using Thomas Fuchs Creative tableware, personal sculptures, food, wine and the artist's work, Fuchs and Mahtani create unforgettable evenings for their guests. In their first dinner, they featured Tony Vazquez-Figueroa, a Venezuelan-born, Miami-based artist (see page 10), who uses crude oil to demonstrate Venezuelan's number one natural resource, which ironically funnels wealth out of the country. Fuchs and Mahtani were inspired for the dinner party to cover the 12-foot-table in live moss, and set the stage with Thomas Fuchs Creative black and wine handblown Murano drinking glasses. The natural world was brought indoors in for an enchanted backdrop for the artwork. 

The three course dinner was inspired by the landscape of the country of Venezuela. For an appetizer, there was black truffle and wild mushroom pizza. The main course was a black squid ink risotto, and dessert was blackened chocolate ganache. The wine pairings were Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2014. After dinner, guests were treated to a short presentation by the artist, who explained the relevance of using crude oil in his work.

 

Guest List

The dinner sat fourteen guests including Sergio and Luisa Cernuda of LnS gallery, featured artist Tony Vazquez-Figueroa, global art blogger Noa Ishaki, renowned interior designer Monia Nishi, Charlotte Taylor from Doyle New York, Gaspar Saldanha from Design Miami, Daniel Campana from Miami Beach Botanical Garden, and master artist Frida Baranek.

Menu

The menu for the evening was also inspire by Tony Vazquez-Figueroa’s series Black Surface: The Undoing Process inspired by crude oil

 

  

 

 

 

 

July 26, 2018 by Alech Blumenfeld

How to Create the Perfect Outdoor Space

If you are anything like me, when the weather is nice, you like to bring your parties or gatherings outdoors. It doesn’t matter if you have a large backyard, or a small patio, these few tips will help you create the perfect outdoor space.

 

The first thing to do is create a spot to gather. Pick out your favorite spot, whether it may be under a tree, around a fire pit, or by a water feature, and arrange your seating to create a welcoming hangout area. This gives your guest a place to gather around.

 

This next tip is centered around lighting. Usually people hit a road block when it comes to lighting since it isn’t the easiest thing to figure out when it comes to the outdoors. Unless you create a covered area, you cannot hang a chandelier, or light fixture, over your table or sitting area. A good was to add light is to either use candles, Christmas lights, or lanterns in the trees over your gathering area.

 

Now I know not everyone might have the room for this next tip, but if you have a larger area, and can get creative, dedicate a spot for one of your favorite backyard games. This will defiantly attract attention, while giving your guest more interaction to the space. Life size checkers, or bocce ball, are great interactive games for both adults, and kids.

 

If you find your space may be a litter smaller, or not attract as much light as you would like, adding mirrors will solve this issue. Whether the mirrors you used are big or small, mirrors expand an area, and can help define the overall style of your space.

 

This last tip is for folks that live in a colder climate. We all know you don’t want your guest so cold that they would rather bundle up inside, so the solution is to add heaters to the area your will be gathering in most. Outdoor heaters can be a statement piece, or add a more inviting appeal.

 

Hopefully these few tips will encourage you to enhance your space, and make you feel more confident when you hold your next gathering outdoors.   

July 06, 2018 by Alech Blumenfeld

Eco-Friendly Design

Are you someone who loves protecting the environment, and want to integrate this into all aspect of your life? Eco-friendly interior design is not as crazy as it sounds before. Nowadays, most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference from these designs or not. Today we will be going over some of the best eco-friendly design brands.

Kazi

Kazi is a company that creates handwoven baskets and vessels using sisal and sweet grass. These plants grow abundantly, which means their use is less taxing on the environment. This company partners with nonprofit organizations to help educate and train people in their communities.

Colorhouse

Colorhouse produces premium paint that doesn’t include all the dangerous chemicals and toxins. The have dozens of colors that don’t have volatile organic compounds, no reproductive toxins, no chemical solvents, and no toxic fumes. I know that when I have previously painted a space, I couldn’t stand to smell the toxic fumes, so this is a win in my book.

Coyuchi

Coyuchi produces a wide range of textiles, bedding, and mattresses that is created from 100% organic cotton. Since this is a rare natural fiber, that is free of dyes and bleaches, this is an excellent product. Not only are they very eco-friendly, they are the softest fabrics you could find.

Environment

Environment Furniture is the best company of you are looking for unique furniture created from reclaimed, recycled, harvested woods. This company produces anything from tables, beds, and benches.  

So, now that you are aware of eco-friendly design companies, are you ready to style your home, while being conscious to the earth?

 

June 29, 2018 by Alech Blumenfeld

The Perfect Master Bedroom

When it comes to our home, the master bedroom should be our retreat. Somewhere where we can relax, decompress, and just escape for our hectic days. Now, most people who are not experts at designing have no idea where to start. Well, lucky for you, I am going to give you some tips on how to create the perfect master bedroom.

Obviously, the bed should be the focal point of the room, but to enhance the luxurious feel, you want to have the wall behind it different from the other walls in the space. You could either paint the wall a darker shade of the other walls, apply a patterned wallpaper, or even use reclaimed wood.

When it comes to the bed, you want a dramatic headboard. An oversized headboard, such as an upholstered headboard, is perfect for form and function. It makes watching TV or reading a book in bed a little more comfortable.

The next tip is focused on the bedding. You cannot have a large beautiful headboard with cheap bedding. If you purchase a higher thread count, your bedding will not begin to pill or fuzz. Plus, these sheets are much softer to sleep on. If you aren’t sure how to test for a quality product, hold the sheet up to the light and see if the light shines through. If it doesn’t, then you know that’s a quality sheet.

This next tip is not needed for every master bedroom, but if you have floors other than carpet, you should add a large area rug to soften up the space. Not only does it give you an extra layer, it doesn’t make the floor look bare.

The last step is any finishing touches. This could range from lamps on the end side tables to family photos. Make this space feel like home. When you start and end your day in a space that makes you feel happy, your overall attitude begins to improve. I hope you feel more confident with these few simple steps on completing your master bedrooms look.  

June 29, 2018 by Alech Blumenfeld

The Art of a Formal Dinner Setting

Have you ever had the need, or yearning, to host a formal dinner party? If you are new to this, you probably have anxiety just thinking about it. A formal dinner setting traces back centuries in America and Europe. Back then, the host would have butlers or footmen spend hours setting the table, making sure their work was done precise. Obviously, modern America is quite different than it was centuries ago, so it is not important to go to these lengths. However, it is important to follow the basic rules.

Before you start picking out what you will be using, it is important to determine the theme and overall mood of the setting. It should suit the feel of your home, so it doesn’t feel out of place. The glasses, dinner plates and cutlery should complement one another. The linen used on your table should always be of higher quality, that’s what gives the more elegant feeling of your setting.

Now, let’s get the setting put together. Put the service plate at the center of your place setting, everything else will center around this. Once you have your service plate, place the plate that you will use for your first course, and napkin. The next step is to add your forks to the left of the service plate. We put the forks in order from when we will use them. Place the first fork you will use on the outside, and then in order from there. The same goes for the spoons, and knifes on the right side, work from the outside in of what you will use first.

Now the last step is to add the glasses to the setting. You will place the glass to the right of the center plate, but above the cutlery on the right. The water glass should be aligned with the dinner knife, and the wine glass should be placed to the right.

Since you now know the basics, you will be able to have the perfect formal dinner party for friends and family without feeling too overwhelmed.

June 22, 2018 by Alech Blumenfeld

Do you ever wonder which glass is appropriate for your drink?

Have you ever wondered which drinking glass is best for which drink? If you are anything like me, it gets overwhelming knowing which glass to use. The older we get, the more sophisticated and grown up our gatherings get. It is time we hang up our cheap solo cup from backyard barbecues, and trade them in for some more elegant.

 

Some of these styles of glasses have existed for decades, and gives the individual a perception of a better drinking experience. This might sound a little far fetch, but if you are drinking your favorite drink out of the corresponding glass, the aromas and flavor of your drink are maximized exponentially.

 

Here are some of the most common glasses we would expect to be using at any event:

The American Pint

The American Pint is usually used when drinking lagers, or brown ales. These types of glasses hold 16 ounces, and is in the shape of a cylinder that gets slightly larger at the top. This is a cheaper option that using a plastic cup.

 

The Pilsner

The Pilsner is a German-style drinking glass that is usually used for beers like Bock or Kolsch. Ciancio exclaims how the tampered shape captures the carbonation and color, while still allowing the foam to form at the top. This gives drinking out of this glass the ultimate experience for these types of beers.

 

The Snifter

The Snifter is a short stemmed glass with a wide, rounded bottom, and a narrow top. The shape of the bottom allows for swirling to release the aromas, and easy way to grab the glass. You typically use these glasses for intense beers like barley wines, quads, or heavy beers.

 

Martini

The Martini glass isn’t all for looks. It might take some time to get used to using, but there is a reason why the shape is the way it is. The cone shape prevents the ingredients from separating, and the stem prevents your hands from warming the drink.

 

Highball

The Highball shape is simple, yet productive. This allows carbonated drinks from losing their carbonation since there is not a lot of airway exposed. The more exposed, the quicker your drink becomes flat. You would typically see drinks such as gin, tonic, or anything mixed with soda.

 

Tulip Wine Glass

Tulip-shaped glasses, which are more traditional glasses, are usually served with white or rose wine. The shape slows down any rise in temperature, and the stem prevents your hands from heating up the wine.

 

Red Wine Glass

If you prefer red wine, a larger, bowl like shape is the perfect glass for you. With the larger glass, the opening is increased, which allows for room for the aroma to release.

 

Stemless Glass

Stemless glasses are becoming a staple in most kitchens today. They are an easy to clean shape, while still having an elegant look. These glasses are prefect for wines that are being served at room temperature since your hands will be surrounding the glass, unintentionally heating up the wine.

 

These are just a few of the most common glasses that we would either see in our kitchen, or at a happening restaurant or bar. Selecting the right glass can enhance the experience, and have an elegant look. Now that you know some more about drinking glasses, have you been drinking out of the right glass?

June 15, 2018 by Alech Blumenfeld

Venice

Where the entire Otium Collection is produced.  Not a bad place to go for work.  
Have a great Holiday weekend. 
June 15, 2018 by Alech Blumenfeld

Wabi-Sabi

Beauty in imperfection.

A core belief I have in design is that there is beauty and relevance in what the masses call imperfection. In Japan, this train of thought is know as Wabi-Sabi.

A staircase at The Getty Villa, Malibu

A Ruth Asawa sculpture at the De Young Museum, San Francisco

The word "Wabi" stems from the root wa, which refers to harmony, peace, tranquillity, and balance and "Sabi" by itself means "the bloom of time." Together they mean "Finding beauty in imperfection."

Footed wave platter at Takashimaya New York

With this belief, I am able to spend hours mesmerized in the glass factory while my new designs are being developed into a reality or physical object. You have to understand that there is no hocus pocus in the physical creation but, I believe that there is magic in seeing the mistakes or misinterpretations that naturally happen by the Maestro to create the vision of the object I have in my head. The magic is to hold that mistake in the back of your mind and play with it in the future, once the real work of getting the prototype forms I originally envisioned. This is the time I call play, this is the time that the shapes and forms are where I want them so now is the time of color, texture, polishing, overlapping, poking, pulling, wrapping, etc.

A futile attempt by me at creating a Wabi-sabi design, the candlesticks were suppose to be uneven and precarious.

The standard Disco Volante Candlestick, with a metal frame to avoid too much Wabi-sabi

The majority of these pieces never see the polished well appointed showrooms where the Otium collection is sold. These pieces generally become, gifts, donations or doorstops. I really can not easily sell an object that is not readily reproduced within the standard variance of hand made pieces. Wabi-Sabi is still a foreign concept to a lot of the Western World.

 

Three of many Venetian glass "Wabi-Sabi" Tumblers we made for a benefit. Look for these in the Otium Lifestyle collection coming out soon.

 

I hope that you will give this concept a little consideration the next time they see the beautiful color and texture created by rust and denting on an old metal bucket, or a reflection in a pothole, or the asymmetry of trees along a wind swept shore and maybe even of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death in your own life.

I will end with an enlightening but harshly realistic 13th century Japanese proverb:

 

"Time is kind to things, but unkind to man."

June 08, 2018 by Alech Blumenfeld