Bid On Your Favorite California Creation


This year’s Awards is the biggest one yet, with nearly 300 submissions, so it’s the perfect time to introduce a special twist for our 2014 Awards gala on February 4: We’re auctioning off 16 custom commissions designed just for our 2013 State of the Art column (and featured in our magazine).  

State of the Art lets us work closely with California’s best creative talents. For each issue, we commission three to four designs to be featured in our pages, and offer only one rule—it has to highlight the shape of our fair state. Since debuting in our Spring 2013 issue, it’s included quilters, sculptors, jewelers, architects, muralists and woodworkers. We’ve shared the fantastic results with you in each print edition, and now it’s your chance to take them home with you. Our auction is live online leading up to the event, so you can bid on your favorite piece and get insta-updates on its status (bidding runs through 8 pm on February 4). Check out the descriptions of these one-of-a-kind pieces. 


1. Terrain Necklace

For heritage brand Alex & Lee, jewelry designers Lee Brooks and Greg Franke weave semiprecious metals, minerals and found objects into fantastical wearable art. This richly textured pectoral necklace features mirror images of the California silhouette in layers of bronze wire, vintage brass trim, copper rope and spun steel. Sterling silver plates evoke the sky, and a “dog-tooth” abalone pearl anchors the medallion. Proceeds benefit Larkin Street Youth Services.


2. California Gem

Inspired by his grandfathers in their hobby shops, woodworker Danny Montoya learned the fundamentals of carpentry by building skateboard ramps in the Santa Clarity Valley. As founder of San Francisco’s Key and Kite, he transforms remnant wood into glowing sculptures called “gems.”. For this piece, Montoya tweaked his signature design to incorporate redwood salvaged from stairs and a piece of sky-blue lucite in the shape of the Golden State. Proceeds benefit Magnolia Clubhouse.


3. Blurred Lines

Artist Cliff Garten has more than 50 public works under his belt, but the Los Angeles-based sculptor found time to celebrate his home state. In this four-by-two-foot illuminated sculpture, 49 layers of recycled plastic unfurl from a state-shaped base of stainless steel. The semitransparent sections reference three of the state’s signature characteristics—its growing population, its mounting environmental pressures and its wide-reaching influence


4. Abstracted California

Creativity Explored artist Christina Marie Fong applies her bold, graphic style to this artwork in acrylic and ink on wood. The four-by-two-foot piece gracefully encapsulates the vibrancy of California in an eye-catching, abstract style, full of color and metallic accents. Proceeds benefit Creativity Explored.


5. Freehand Land

Inspired by nature and Led Zeppelin album covers, Creativity Explored artist Dan Michiels takes marker to paper to create his detailed masterpieces (which have traveled down the runway as prints for Comme Des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo).  Michiels created the repeating ropy tessellations and saturated-color forms that make up this California artwork by working freehand with felt-tip artist’s pens and Sharpies, with a deliberate hand and only a vision in his head to guide him. This piece was featured on the Summer 2013 cover of CA Home+Design magazine. Proceeds benefit Creativity Explored.


6. Watercolor Wallpaper

Los Angeles artist Tracy Hiner, founder of Black Crow Studios, creates abstract, watercolor-inspired wallpaper meant for a crowd willing to take a risk. Hiner imagined this creation as a love letter to California, and created it by rolling slurries of acrylic paint onto paper. After scanning the completed piece, she enlarged the most interesting spot, employing a fine-art digital printing technique known as giclée to create the final wallpaper. Proceeds benefit Inner City Arts.


7. Golden State Sconce

Designer Brandon Morrison, founder of Los Angeles design studio whyrHymer, chose a literal celebration of California’s beloved nickname, “The Golden State.” For our Summer edition, he crafted this sconce in the shape of our fair state, and plated it in 24-karat gold. This version is equally beautiful and built in bleached maple. The versatile fixture can mount flush against a wall or ceiling, and the luxe finish beautifully reflect light. Proceeds benefit L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.


8. In Living Color

Inner Gardens owner Stephen Block (who recently updated the outdoors of no less a client than Sir Elton John) is a self-proclaimed treasure hunter—a talent that benefits his Los Angeles-based landscape firm. He salvaged this six-foot-tall swampland cypress knee as the perfect mimic of California’s jagged coast, and decked it out with bromeliads to create a living work of floral sculpture. The best part is that the epiphytic plants require minimal maintenance—all this sculpture needs to thrive is a few spritzes of water per week. Proceeds benefit P.S. ARTS.


9. A Cut Above the Rest

Split Grain founder Paul Foeckler experienced his artistic awakening at the woodpile of his family’s property on The Sea Ranch. Chopping wood one day, he took note of the intricate wood-grain patterns of the cypress logs: Unable to burn the chopped-up beauties, Foeckler instead celebrates the humble material through sliced-and-diced sculptures such as this California piece (three lucky swings of the axe created the state shape of the silhouette as viewed from the top). He then mounts them on shell armatures—a treatment reminiscent of specimens at a natural history museum. Proceeds benefit World Cancer Research Fund.


10. California Cuff #1

Ron Radziner, co founder of LA architecture firm Marmol Radziner, could never find the perfect piece of jewelry until he took to his company’s metal shop and created it for himself. A few clients inquired after the custom cuffs, and before long, the firm launched a jewelry line. This bronze cuff plays with the angle of the state’s silhouette, creating a modern, wearable abstraction. Proceeds benefit Los Angeles Conservancy.


11. California Cuff #2

Ron Radziner, co founder of LA architecture firm Marmol Radziner, could never find the perfect piece of jewelry until he took to his company’s metal shop and created it for himself. A few clients inquired after the custom cuffs, and before long, the firm launched a jewelry line. This bronze cuff plays with the angle of the state’s silhouette, creating a modern, wearable abstraction. Proceeds benefit Los Angeles Conservancy.


12. Farm Strong

Metalworker and Country Industrial founder Ray Degischer crafts sophisticated accessories out of the industrial scrap of his native Sonoma Country (think giant gears, hooks and sheet metal discarded by local wineries, Humboldt County logging stations and coastal fishing fleets). He created this versatile hanging chalkboard using rusted steel that he salvaged for its unique patina. Proceeds benefit 5 Gyres.


13. California Weavin’

The 1970s-inspired wall hangings by All Roads founders Janelle Pietrzak and Robert Dougherty were born out of the couple’s desire for a statement piece of wall art. Working on a loom built by Dougherty, a carpenter and welder by trade, Pietrzak plys her craft using highly textured materials such as thick cotton rope, vintage yarns and curly sheep’s wool. She modeled this California work after a topographical map of the state, using indigo dyed rope to suggest the Pacific Ocean and a welded arrow pointing westward. Proceeds benefit McGroaty Arts Center.


14. California Spirit

Reclamation Etchworks founders Ethan Terry and Timothy Daw use lasers and digital templates to turn salvaged liquor bottles into bespoke Art Nouveau–inspired decanters. This custom California trio features a triptych label that stretches over three reclaimed bottles, each named after a spirit that is distilled in the state, such as pisco, brandy or absinthe. Proceeds benefit ROYAL – Realizing Our Youth As Leaders.


15. Rubber Meets the Road

Bonnie Heras pursues her passion for all things sculptural as one of the founding members of Oakland-based Five Ton Crane (the artists’ collective made famous by installations such as the 40-foot-tall Steampunk Tree House that reigned over Burning Man in 2007). This six-by-three-foot sculpture features the state’s shape recessed into pattern of sliced-up bicycle tires that Heras wove into a mesh frame—referencing roads and the directional, trend-setting nature of California.


16. Quilted California

Los Angeles-based artists Claire Oswalt and Eliza Kenan founded textile studio Hopewell Workshop, which showcases Oswalt’s watercolor-painted fabrics and Kenan’s angular patterns in a collection of color-blocked quilts. In this California piece, a mosaic of painted polka dots and geometric edges references the state’s varying environments (a bright red square represents energetic, industrial LA and a cool blue triangle stands in for Lake Tahoe). It’s finished with blue-and-white binding, symbolic of the international airmail envelopes. Proceeds benefit Heart Gift. 

More news: