I have to take a minute to tell you about Russel Wright, one of my favorite modernists. Wright, an industrial designer, is most well-known for his American Modern dinnerware collection, which he designed in 1939. The set featured above is from that collection and I've been scooping up for a pittance at thrift stores around DC and Baltimore, and on ebay. People say Russel Wright "revolutionized the American home and how people lived there." Gone were the days of formal, ten piece settings. Instead Mr. Wright created inexpensive dinnerware that emphasized informal living. I'm down with that. Plus, isn't it pretty? That's a photograph, but doesn't it look like a still-life painting?
One of my culinary resolutions is to expand my little collection. I'm working on sea foam and chartreuse. One of the pluses of Russel Wright dinnerware is that you can mix and match the collection. Did you know that the Wright's cultivated the idea of placemats? I think they would really like mine.
Wright and his wife Mary wrote a book called, "A Guide to Easier Living." It was featured in the New York Times a few months ago. In the book they advocated for decreasing the formalities of entertaining. "They told us how to simplify our lives, but we complicated them again," said the author of the article. We sure did.
Wright was based in New York City, but he built a retreat house called Dragon Rock at Manitoga. At Manitoga, a previous logging site, Wright mastered the art of blurring the lines between inside and outside, nesting his studio space in the woods and using magnificently large windows to invite the woods in for a drink or two. It's where I want to spend winter, all curled up by the fire. That would be easier living, for sure. Except for collecting firewood, but, let's face it, Marcus would be in charge of that.
I would just sip tea out of these little mugs and read books.