A recent bout of podcast listening has opened up a vast new world to me. In a circuitous series of loops and figurative figure-eights, I’ve come across some fresh and fascinating voices, minds, ideas…my iPad is brimming with books to read (to do, to do!) and my iPhone is stocked with a long list of podcasts cued for “up next.” So. Much. To. Discover.
Like Jonathan Adler. I’ve covered the designer’s work and products before as part of my stint as a contributing editor for Western Living magazine (like Adler’s simple-yet-sophisticated menagerie of porcelain ornaments; hello fox), and am familiar with Adler’s particular Palm-Springs-esque vibe. His aesthetic is evocative and full of playful character. Whimsical but always stylish. And his manifesto…thoroughly enjoyable. For one, I wholeheartedly agree with this: “We believe dogs should be allowed in stores and restaurants.” (Because, yes, I love dogs.)
So, when I happened upon his guest appearance on the Design Matters podcast (host Debbie Millman has been revelatory for me…more on her insights another time), I listened with relish. Adler didn’t disappoint, eschewing pretention and applauding passion (basically, he follows his heart with a fuck-it attitude).
Feeling his joie de vivre, I took a peek at his website again and found the Tree of Light. Gasp.
The gnarly brass branch, affixed to a supporting crutch with leather straps, much like some ancient bonsai, is a gilded, almost gaudy piece of décor and yet also organic objet d’art: “…as knotty as if carved by Mother Nature herself, but glowing like gold.” Oh yes. I also have a thing for trees and this is like some over-the-top homage to their inimitable limbs. If I had the space and means, I’d make this Tree of Light an altar of sorts. Think brass bonsai Buddha. Φ