yvonne mouser and new factory

January 24, 2012

Some of Yvonne’s own brushes as well as her collection from travels. Photos by Klea McKenna.

I recently learned about the work of Yvonne Mouser from fellow Bay Area resident and artist, Kathryn Clark. Yvonne is an artist and designer focussed on creating everyday objects of beauty as well as sculptural works that capture moments of change. Together with her boyfriend, Adam Reineck, an award-winning principal designer at IDEO, Yvonne founded New Factory, a collaborative which seeks to “create and reinterpret everyday objects in order to engage people in new behaviors and meaningful interactions.” (If you’ve been following this blog for a while now, you understand right there why I respond to her work.)

For New Factory, Yvonne and Adam push the boundaries between the ordinary and art to create utilitarian objects that are every bit as lovely as they are useful. With Yvonne and Adam, it’s not just form follows function. Function inspires form, pushing it to new heights. “By creating a new vocabulary we can see beyond the ordinary,” notes Yvonne. By blurring the distinction between work and art, New Factory develops truly “holistic,” handmade objects. In their beauty they make the action more meaningful, and in the marks of craftsmanship they connect the buyer to the source.

Bucket stools and double wide. Handmade from birch. Available at New Factory.

As so beautifully portrayed in an article by Nikki Grattan and Klea McKenna of In The Make, this blurring of life, work and art is also evident in the way Yvonne keeps her home. In the same way that her pieces often tell a story through their function, her house likewise reveals a lot about this innovative woman. First, the fact that the studio is located in the garage below the house means that there is little distinction between her home and work spaces. This easy flow is also apparent in her decorative choices, such as the assemblage of brushes on the wall. Here Yvonne’s own work merges seamlessly with collected objects from her travels, as well as functional pieces. All together they create a sculptural installation of sorts, a work of art. Likewise Yvonne’s daily life at home often informs her work. An upcoming pully lamp developed by Yvonne and Adam for New Factory was inspired by a desire to change up the lighting over their own dining table.

All together the totality of Yvonne’s life says a lot about her: that she tries to be very intentional about how she lives her life, but she’s not all seriousness. She clearly has a sense of whimsy and a wonderful imagination. She enjoys beauty and has a gift for finding and creating it wherever she goes.

Yvonne and her garden, which is the inspiration for another artistic endeavor, Thought For Food, in which Yvonne and a group of friends “experiment with the overlap of design, art, food, and event.” Photos by Klea McKenna. Read/see more here.

Yvonne in her kitchen. Photo by Klea McKenna.

“Tubes” by Yvonne. Made from hand rolled strips of sun-faded newspaper. Photos by Klea McKenna.

Based on the idea that it’s bad luck to place a broom on its bristles comes New Factory’s Superstitious Hand Broom – handmade from bent ash and horse hair.

New Factory’s 100 % bag is cut from one piece of industrial felt with no waste in production.

With its Forgotten and Reborn Containers, New Factory gives new life to old vessels, fitting them with hand turned tops

See more at Yvonne’s site and In The Make.

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