Jumbie Industries

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A brand new product we’re carrying is this gorgeous laser-engraved wood poster reading “Baltimore, Maryland.” It’s designed and made by Jumbie Industries, and each a portion of purchase goes to helping children with cancer and their families. The lettering is inspired by turn-of-the-century illustrations, and is engraved in high-contrast in sheets of birch. Photos can only convey so much of the beauty and detailcome in to the Baltimore store to appreciate it up close and personal!

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Posted in Art

Time Flies

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Many of us are using the calendars on our phones nowadays, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a use for physical ones. Along with being a great form of rotational, decorative art, our beautiful calendars are great for quick reference or jotting down notes at your office or desk at home. We’ve got a great selection of both monthly wall calendars and weekly desk pads, but once they’re gone they’re gone, so come in to take a look sooner rather than later.

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Posted in Art, office

Julia E. Dean

IMG_0420 The Autumnal Equinox occurred last night at 10:29, making today the first day of fall. Just in time, we have a fresh stock of leaf-imprinted mugs from Julia E Deanso as your coffee switches from iced to hot, you’ll have the perfect vessel! Hailing from a five-generation line of craftspeople, Julia has been making functional clay artwork since 1998. Her products truly have a personal touch: not only does she hand-make each piece of pottery, but each unique item is imprinted with leaves or shells collected by her family. Along with the 16 oz. mugs, our Baltimore store is stocking large serving bowls, sea shell cereal bowls, and mugs and creamers with robins egg glaze. All her products are microwave and dishwasher safe. Since each item varies from the next one, come in soon to pick out your favorite!
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Posted in Art, kitchen

Mug Shots

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New in the Baltimore store, we’ve received these lovely handmade mugs from Justin Rothshank. These wheel thrown mugs are made from earthenware clay and glazed with a glossy white glaze. Each features a permanent decal of a well known figure  we’re carrying Questlove, Wonder Woman, and Bob Dylan. We’re also carrying two handmade bowls, with decals of wagons and saws. They’re microwave and dishwasher safe, and each item is slightly different due to the handmade nature.
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Posted in Art, kitchen

Glows/Grows

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A recent addition to our Baltimore store is this unique flower lamp designed by local artist Kevin Fitzgerald. We contacted him and he was nice enough to give us some back-story on how this lamp came to be:

I wanted to make a lamp from a Bamboo veneer material I had come across. The material is so beautiful that even just bending it to form a simple cylinder would have looked good apart from the fact that an awkward seam is left where the two ends join together. I really wanted to avoid that seam and at the same time produce a more interesting form.

With that in mind, I created five intersecting loops of veneer joined together on the interior. The seams are hidden and a beautiful flower form created. I then projected down the inverse of this shape to form the base and made it heavy enough to stabilize the shades large size.

​This still left the problem of how to elegantly connect the shade to the base while providing a support structure for the socket. As the design came together, I realized that if this structure could be viewed even when the lamp was on, the overall design would be enhanced.

​For this reason I used an early Edison type “squirrel cage” bulb. It’s carbon filament glows like coals in a fir​e. It’s bright but not so bright you can’t look at it. One is provided with every lamp. Finally an in line dimmer switch allows control over the light intensity.

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Around the World

GlobeGifSmallest A personal project I’m excited to have recently completed is this hand-painted globe of animal migration routes. Two of my greatest interests in art (and life in general) are biodiversity and cartography, so I was thrilled when this idea came to me, and I’m just as happy with the results. As with many of my self-motivated pieces, this globe required hours of research, but the chance to learn something new and fascinating was rewarding in itself. Until this project, I had no idea how far some birds flewthe Arctic Tern goes between Greenland and Antarctica each year, and the Bar-Tailed Godwit travels between China, Alaska, and New Zealand. Even migratory journeys that I already knew about felt all the more incredible when mapped out on a globe. If you would like to see it up close and personal, the globe is displayed at our Baltimore store.
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Posted in around the shop, Art

Artist Spotlight: Beth Hoeckel

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Beth Hoeckel is a multidisciplinary artist from Baltimore. She received her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and spent time in New York, Los Angeles, and abroad before returning to Baltimore. She creates mixed media paintings and collages that invoke a mixture of human emotionsfrom comfort to trepidation, from nostalgia to mystery.

What is your process when it comes to making each piece? Where do you find the images for your collage work? Since you also do your own photography, do you ever incorporate those into your collages?

My process is purely intuitive. Most of the images I use are from vintage publications such as National Geographic’s from the 1950’s/60’s, but isn’t limited to any certain type of magazine. I also use books or found papers. The only limitation is that it has to be old. I have tried to play around with using my own photographs without much success but maybe will try something like that again in the future, I haven’t ruled it out.

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The combinations in your collages are strikingly well-paired. Do you find that some pieces come to you very quickly, while others end up being labored over? Is there any correlation in your mind between how much you like a piece and how much difficulty it gave you?

Yes some do come very quickly, and yes some do have to be labored over. It’s often a right-place-right-time situation. Sometimes things happen accidentally too, like I’ll be moving stuff around and something falls into place and I’ll just be like oh that’s perfect. No, there is no correlation there. Actually most of my favorite pieces are the simplest ones.

Your artwork frequently features human figures, but rarely shows an un-obscured face. In my mind, the image of another human is comforting as the viewer, but the lack of faces feels slightly frightening. I can’t decide if I see myself as one of the figures, or if the figures read as strangers to me.  Do you have any specific intention in doing this?  

That is pretty much the point. Each viewer can project their own feelings into it. I do have specific intention in doing this. If a facial expression is there, it’s all laid out for you. It’s obvious. I want it to be mysterious and thought provoking.

foliage How has your artwork changed over the years? On your website you have your artwork neatly grouped off according to medium and visual themes–do these groups also reflect your development chronologically? Or are you constantly working on several things at once?

I usually do work on a few different projects at once. In my studio I have a separate desk for collage and a desk for painting/drawing. Sometimes I mix the two. I have my site separated into sections because there is so much that it would all be a huge nonsensical jumble if it was all grouped together. It makes it easier for me to find my own things, too. They’re not in chronological order. I still work on most of those projects, and add new things to some of the older pages.

Do you have a studio here in the city, and if so where are you located? How has living in Baltimore influenced your art, in comparison to Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and your time abroad?

Yes, I live in my studio in the City Arts building. I think the main way Baltimore has influenced my art is that I have more time to make it. And now that I’m a bit more grounded here, that makes it easier for me to focus on work.

Prints of Hoeckel’s artwork can be purchased at Trohv. To view more of her work, visit her website at bethhoeckel.com

Posted in Art

Elephants and Fancy Beasts

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If you’ve been to our DC shop recently you may have noticed an amazing new visitor. We are thrilled to have on hand a new sculpture from local artist, Lindsay Pichaske. She has wowed us with her labor intensive creation of a ceramic life-sized baby elephant, covered ever so carefully with raw and beet-dyed sunflower seeds.

It is big and beautiful and quite a contrast to the smaller pieces we have carried from Lindsay’s playful “Fancy Beast” collection.

We had the chance to ask Lindsay a few questions about her art and here is what she had to say:

Fancy beasts Where does your inspiration come from (for instance, why a baby elephant covered with sunflower seeds)?

This piece in particular was simultaneously referencing the ornamented elephants in India, as well as African elephants, which are poached for their tusks and left to rot in the desert. I was interested in paying homage to these very human-like and intelligent animals through this surface covering, which is very loving and meticulous in the way it was applied, but at the same time the red (from beet dye) and lighter raw color of the seeds references flesh and bone. It’s a play on the idea of inside and outside, as the tender, more vulnerable spots are covered in the red seeds. The fact that these are edible is significant, as I was thinking about the food chain, and how this magnificent creature, once poached, becomes carrion for tons of smaller animals to feed off of. My other works usually have a less specific reference, and are based in my interest in the grotesque, monsters, hybrids and beings that cross species boundaries.

What is your “Fancy Beast” ceramic frame collection all about?

They are akin to sketchbook pages out of clay. In each frame, I can foresee an imaginary world where humans, flora, and fauna intermingle to create a surreal scene. These frames depict a world where eyeballs grow on trees and children turn into wolves, where the difference between imaginary and real becomes blurred… And, when arranged in clusters, they create new, unexpected narratives and relationships. I love the way viewers can create their own stories by selecting a few, and arranging them in different ways.

What is often most misunderstood about your pieces?

Hmmm. I think people perceive a lot of creepiness in the work. This aesthetic is interesting to me, but I really am more interested in beauty, and how it can sometimes take strange forms.

 What are you working on now?

I have a solo show at Duane Reed Gallery in May, which I am making several life-sized animals. I have a small elk, and am in the midst of making a wall-mounted bird in the style of a trophy head.

I am also gearing up to teach a two-week summer workshop titled “Evocative Animals” at Penland School of Crafts June 8-20th. This place is amazing and I’m so thrilled to be teaching there…it’s a gorgeous historic craft school in the mountains of western NC, and where I first started figure sculpting.

For more on Lindsay, check out her upcoming workshop or stop by the DC shop to see her artwork in person.

Posted in around the shop, Art

Charley Harper

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Of all the artists and designers we carry in the store, one of my absolute favorites is Charley Harper (1922-2007). Over his 6 decades of illustration work, he developed and refined a truly unique style; one that married close observation of nature with bold shapes, mathematical line-work, and striking colors. What’s so amazing about his artwork is his ability to use such simplified, design-oriented language, yet retain enough faithful detail to be considered scientific illustration. In fact, before becoming widely known and admired by the art world, he was mostly known in the realm of scientific publications.

Currently in the Baltimore store we carry several glasses and 2 children’s books featuring artwork by Charley Harper. Since our stock is ever-shifting, you’re sure to see us carry other Charley Harper products in the future, too!

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Posted in Art, books

Chalk It Up


This past weekend, we were lucky to have the supremely talented Paige Vickers come out to the Baltimore store to revamp our chalkboard wall! An illustrator currently living in Brooklyn, Paige was an associate here at Trohv for 2 years, and we were delighted that she could come back to visit us. As much as we were attached to her previous illustration, after 2 years we are excited to have fresh new artwork up on our wall!  Come in to the store to see her work up close, and view more of her beautiful artwork on her website at PaigeVickers.com

Posted in around the shop, Art