Monday, March 7, 2011

Designer Spotlight- Beehive Kitchenware

Part of what I love about my job is working with really, really talented and nice people. In fact, I try very hard to avoid working with the mean ones - why bother? Jim Dowd and Sandra Bonazoli of Beehive Kitchenware could not be more talented or more nice. They are just all around great people and I love working with them. We carry their simple and beautiful pewter baby feeding sets but plan to add more items for your home quite soon. I love that their product is lovingly handmade in the USA and are so well-priced. You'll love giving them as gifts because they really are great pieces that can be used and enjoyed for years to come. Here is their story and some great pictures of them and their process.

The story of Beehive Kitchenware Co. began in a tiny studio in the pantry of Jim and Sandras house in 1998. Jim had been making large sculptures, and working fabricating architectural metalwork for customers like Bill Gates of Microsoft, while Sandra was showing one-of-a kind jewelry in galleries. Eventually they became more interested in making objects for peoples homes to enjoy in their daily lives, instead of just appreciate in galleries. They wanted to be craftspeople, instead of artists that made art about craft.

They were inspired by the kitchenware they found in old homes and flea markets, and asked Why are all the useful objects made today so plain, when they could be decorative too? So they made their own kitchenware that was as beautiful as it was functional.

Now Beehive Kitchenware occupies a 3000 square foot factory space and produces many, many objects every year.Jim and Sandra are inspired by the folk art of many cultures, flora and fauna, beautiful cakes, and quirky old tools. They both hold Masters in Fine Art degrees, and their collaborative work has been shown at the American Craft Museum in New York City, and featured in numerous publications including Handmade By Design. They live in a little Rhode Island town in a little Rhode Island cottage that they have spent way too much time and money fixing up.

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