Tuesday, July 1, 2008

ModernGear Home: Oh, Canadiana

If you're a regular visitor here at ModernGear TV, you'll know I'm Canadian...I don't add that extra 'u' into words like colour and flavour to be charming - it's in my DNA, you see.

And so from my people to yours, wherever you are from, on this July 1st -
If I was asked to characterize my country's style, there would definitely be a great-outdoors-inspired edge to the aesthetic, and I am happy to report that there is amazing design work being done in wood, yes, but also other mediums. Like beaver.

(That's a Canadian joke).

In all seriousness (or as serious as one can get about design), I would be proud to showcase any of the following historical or modern Canadian designs and designers in my home.

1. Oh Canada, our home and native land

I have always, always, always wanted a Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) point blanket. Introduced over two centuries ago, they were used regularly in the fur trade. From the HBC web site:
"Each blanket was graded as to weight and size using a point system. Points were identified by the indigo lines woven into the side of each blanket. A full point measured 4 - 5.5 in.; a half point measured half that length. The standard measurements for a pair of 1 point blankets was: 2 ft. 8 in. wide by 8 ft. in length; with a weight of 3 lb. 1 oz. each. Points ranged from 1 to 6, increasing by halves depending upon the size and weight of the blanket. The number of points represented the overall finished size of the blanket, not its value in terms of beaver pelts as is sometimes believed."

From 125x125_TheBay
Hudson's Bay Traditional Point Blanket
Made in England (Canada is part of Commonwealth, so this is surely acceptable!)
100% wool
since 1779
king $475
queen $375
double $325
twin $275

Hudson's Bay Baby Blanket
machine washable Merino wool
$125Hudson's Bay Grey Point Blanket
same pricing as above
Hudson's Bay Black and White Point Blanket
same pricing as above
Hudson's Bay Scarlet Point Blanket
same pricing as above
2. True patriot love, in all thy son's command

I am not sure what Brent Comber characterizes himself as: artist, wood furniture builder, or some combination thereof. I do think it would be apt to call him a wood artist. He grew up on Vancouver's North Shore and I think if you've ever spent any time there yourself, you'd be motivated to spend more of your time with wood...the scent from the rainforest and cedar trees is the very epitome of the word fresh. As, frankly, are his designs.

Brent Comber
Alder Cubes
from $990 at Salt Spring Woodworks

Alder Rounds
Alder Saddle
Long Saddle
from $990

3. With glowing hearts, we see thee rise, the True North strong and free

And finally, Vancouver-based Martha Sturdy has made a name for herself because of her works in resin. All of her pieces glow as if lit from within, and some actually are. My favourites are her resin bowls, available in a huge variety of colours, like this gorgeous green.

(Starting at approx. $180)
I also quite like her Square resin vases, starting at about $140...
but to me the most interesting piece is the illuminated resin club chair, with napa leather cushions. Different design blogs have discussed the idea that this chair might fit in better in a club or restaurant, but I think it could have huge impact in the right home as well as a place like a hotel lobby.

I also love the illuminated floating table.

From far and wide, oh Canada, we stand on guard for thee...

Canadians have the reputation of being very polite and kind of quiet, up there in the north. So I'll say my thank-yous, and quietly be off now. If you see me today, honk for Canada! I'll be the one with the maple leaf.

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