The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell is all about the music right? Oh, and then there is the food … and the friends … and the dancing … and the shopping. Clothes, posters, jewelry, hats, books, bags, sandals and musical instruments from Congo Square to the Louisiana Marketplace to the Contemporary Crafts village: There are hundreds of tempting items to take home.
The Fair Grounds may not spring to mind when shopping for one-of-a-kind home furnishings, but maybe it should. This week and next, we’ll spotlight three artists in the Contemporary Crafts village whose creations can transform a room. Better still, all the artists are based here in New Orleans, so you’ll know where to send the first friend who asks, “Man, I want one of those. Where can I get one?’
-- What: White clay bowls from her “Paradigm” series (plus sculptural “Tribesmen”)
-- About: Parrish has an interior design background and has been experimenting with clay for just 3 years. To create the bowls, she rolls out a slab of clay, then drapes, rips and carves it before sanding, burnishing and glazing. This is Parrish’s first time as an exhibitor at Jazz Fest.
-- She says: “The holes, initially accidental as a result of carving the clay too thin, are now a defining feature. The vessels are all one-of-a-kind and are inspired by tattered antique linens, remnants and organic forms. They exhibit contrasting elements, as they appear soft and fragile but are durable on closer examination.”
-- Where she’s at: Tent F
-- Find out more: j3design.net
-- What: Furniture made of recycled metal materials, especially street signs
-- About: Lunz is from Vicksburg, Mississippi, but moved to New Orleans a dozen years ago to teach design at Loyola. A metalsmith by education, he also fights fires with the New Orleans Fire Department and makes biodiesel fuel.
-- He says: “Furniture marries my interest in design with my desire to recycle found objects. Most of the signs used to make chairs (including the one pictured) were salvaged after Hurricane Katrina. I hand-bend or forge and assemble them myself. Point being, the process is low tech with a minimal energy footprint and a focus on hand skills.”
-- Where he’s at: Tent I
-- Find out more: rosslunz.com
-- What: Mixed media works, including photographs
-- About: Julien was born in New Orleans, with the inspiration for his work rooted in the history of the city. For “Monk” (pictured), Julien built up the surface with photographs and sheet music, then applied gold leaf and resin.
-- He says: “I lost my dark room in Katrina, so a lot of my mixed media pieces are about trying to overcome the limitations of not having it. ‘Monk’ is a tribute to Big Chief Monk Boudreaux. The idea that popped into my head when I was making it was about how enslaved Africans would go to St. Louis Cathedral for Mass on Sunday mornings and listen to classical music, then to Congo Square and in the afternoon and play African music and how it all evolved into jazz.”
-- Where he’s at: Tent D
-- Find out more: epauljulien.com