Vintage 1934 Primitive Embroidered Sampler

garden embroidered sampler
backside of embroidered sampler
This sampler with lovely sentiment is highly collectible. It was found, still in its original broken frame with this graphic Collier’s Weekly frame backer. It could be disassembled and gently washed and re-framed. It reads, “rememberance is the sweetest flower that in a garden grows. NC 1934.”

“The Pioneer Woman” Folk Art Painting

pioneer woman folk art painting
We found this painting in this old stained oak frame in the 80s at an antique mall in West Virginia. We attempted to discover who Mildred Bennington was aside from an obviously talented artist. As a collector, I would describe the piece as somewhat primitive but skillfully created including the manner by which it was framed. Signed along the bottom of the painting in pencil it reads “the Pioneer Woman” Mildred Bennington 36.

Wright Living Contemporary 28 April 2011

TEJO REMY  You Can’t Lay Down Your Memories
KWANGHO LEE  Hanging Light Fixture
ANTONIO VOLPE  Rocking chaise, model 267
Next up, Chicago, the second sale in Wright’s Living Contemporary Series… I’ll be sitting on my hands figuratively speaking. The catalog describes the curated sale as combining “remarkable artworks and notable design to create a compelling and sophisticated environment. Works by Ron Arad and Marc Newson will be sold alongside artworks by George Grosz and David Hockney. Other highlights include a Feather stool by Shiro Kuramata, a dining set by Gerald Summers and a lounge chair by Franco Campo and Carlo Graffi.”

We have highlighted but a few of the “remarkable” works, including Tejo Remy’s 1991 work for Droog titled “You Can’t Lay Down Your Memories.” Also represented, Kwangho Lee’s disarming 2009 “Hanging Light” and Antonio Volpe’s “Rocking Chair” created in 1922. And lastly today, an ink and watercolor piece on paper completed in 1997 by Marcel Dzama. Darn this down economy!

Body Electric

Body Electric sculpture
Dennis and I have been a bit distracted lately. In addition to running two brick and mortar businesses (City Lights Neon and Deux Design) and Ephemerascenti on Etsy, we have been working on a pro bono piece. It will be auctioned to benefit our local Building Values, an affiliate of Easter Seals.

ReUse-apalooza Designer Challenge is the additional focus. The challenge invited local designers to browse salvaged and used materials and receive a store credit up to $100.00 to be used in an artistic or functional piece. The challenge will culminate in an event and silent auction of the finished works on April 8th, 2011.

Dennis and I browsed the facility for nearly two hours; considering materials for multiple projects. We selected, after debate, vintage painted wood molding, used fuses, and a common mirror, from among well organized and displayed materials. Our design was not pre-conceived, it was driven, with spontaneity, by the available salvaged materials.

We knew we would augment the salvaged items with materials from our studio. We had off fall from glass tubing and perhaps a neon transformer that we had used to power a prop for a movie or shoot we would not sell as new.

We also realized the need to weave the theme we described as “body electric” through the piece. We decided to etch the used mirror to mask the barely discernible scratches. The etched design, highlighting the chakras and meridians, would re-iterate the theme and link the fuses as materials to the etched image.

The neon, made in our studio, would provide an indirect orange glow suggested by the graphics on many of the fuses. As an indirect light source, it would be enjoyed as a halo of light shadowing and enhancing the work.

An interview with the “Living” editor of our local newspaper, The Enquirer, resulted in a feature presenting “Body Electric” and other examples of our art which often includes up-cycled or re-sourced materials. Our greatest reward will be seeing the bids accrue and knowing the sum will be donated in its entirety to Building Value/Easter Seals on April 8th!

Daniel Lai

Buddha Tree IV
Thinker in Balcony
Sleeper on Jelly Fish
Kenjio on Etsy is the shop of Daniel Lai an artist based in Knoxville, Tennessee, US. Of Chinese descent, he was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A resident of the U.S. since 2000. He received a MA in Art Studies and Art History, in 2006, among his various intellectual pursuits.

His work has been published in books and magazines. He has achieved national and international awards.

I am drawn intently to the intrinsic intellectual struggle, as well as the sculptural form his work addresses. The choice of words in describing one’s own work is indelibly personal. I asked Daniel Lai to provide an artist statement to describe his glass and paper sculpture, works which he sells at Kenjio – Art for the Soul.


My work is a three-dimensional journal that conveys snippets of my emotions and feelings toward life. The triggers of such emotions and feelings often revolve around the notion of knowledge, life’s necessities, struggles, and relationships. I often get the inspiration from Daoism; therefore, my art often centers on the notion of dichotomous equilibrium, for example, creating by destroying.

I often use words to express my experiences but, naturally for an artist, I find them inadequate to convey how I truly feel. As a result, I translate these words to a visual form that is three dimensional, simplistic, and often relatable to many. I call these sculptures “three dimensional hieroglyphs of my experiences.” Often times, the true meaning of text and words are just beneath that thin layer of their lexical meaning. In other words, we live in a metaphorical world and my sculptures are the visual forms of such metaphors. Returning to my earlier example, I truly do create my art by destroying the material.

Wesley Willis Outsider Artist 1986 Drawing – Dan Ryan Expressway

wesley willis drawing
wesley willis drawing
Probably better known for his music than his art, drawn with markers and ballpoint pens. Wesley Willis’ art focused nearly exclusively on urban landscapes, specifically Chicago, his hometown.This work was one of several purchased from the artist as he worked streetside. It is a 1986 drawing titled “Dan Ryan Expressway 51st St.” one of his favorite subjects. This is typical of his cityscapes which tend to include tall buildings, as well as semi-trucks, buses, and freeways. His work has been exhibited at Chicago’s Intuit gallery.