I am still unpacking from Germany, but wanted to start sharing some of the beautiful things + designs + crafts and brands I discovered or re-discovered on my last travels; share what I brought back to “sweet home” Chicago this time around. Let’s start with my father’s ashtray…!
As children we were absolutely fascinated by this 6 piece nesting hedgehog. My father used all of them everyday and we would find the different sizes in different rooms throughout the house. Friendly little guys, with the remains of my dad’s filterless “Reval” cigarettes, carelessly stomped out in the hedgehog’s ever sturdy, ever serving backs. As a “grown-up” artist I have of course learned to understand the true magic of its creator: Walter Bosse. Walter was born in 1904 in Austria and he actually spend the last creative period of his life right next to my hometown, in Iserlohn, where he died in 1979. ( To think I probably ran into him at the weekly market or doctor visits… oh I wish I had known him. He has certainly influenced me and our BINTH work.
“All my work’s purpose is make as many people as possible happy and to bring gleams of hope into their daily life, which it usually needs. I avoid living in luxury as much as possible because in fact for many of us even the bare necessities are luxury”
The life of Walter Bosse was mapped out from the beginning, his parents having been academic painters. His father, Julius, was actually working as a portrait painter at the Zarist court in St. Petersburg. Bosse Junior was restless in searching for new materials. Finally, he found satisfaction in sculpting out of brass. Handcrafted in solid brass and hand finished to a golden sheen with black patina, this style, originated by Walter together with his romantic + business partner Herta Baller, was known as the “Black Golden Line.”
Here are just a few of his many many other brass characters. Aren’t they amazing?