The Beauty of Functional Art

There is something special about cooking with that beautiful soup ladle that used to be grandmas, or setting the table with hand woven placemats on special occasions.  Each of us can probably pick at least a few items in our home that bring us joy when we use them.  I have a friend who loves special dishes.  Even with four young children, she rarely doled out a plastic cup or plate.  Instead, she continually replaced those broken cereal bowls with dishes she found here and there, because they brought joy to her living space, and to her work of keeping her home.

Since the beginning of time, humankind has been creating beautiful, functional art.  There is beauty in the creation process, and even in the humblest of tools and objects, there can be found a simplistic beauty in its form.  In some of the earliest architecture uncovered from ancient times, we still find remnants of the art and beauty that was integrated into their work and living spaces.  There are beautiful mosaics covering floors and walls, and pottery depicting beautiful scenes of cultures from long ago.  Functional art tells us the story of the people who used them.

The draw to functional art still remains today, and the appreciation of it continues to be embraced.  It is such a part of our culture that we can forget the connection.  I think it’s part of what makes the human race so remarkable.  If you take a moment to look around you, you will most likely find several items in sight that can fall into the category of functional art.  And the beauty of art is that it is subjective in nature.  We all see beauty in different ways.  For some, it might be in the hand drawn sketch on the flower vase in your window; or that handmade artisan basket that holds your favorite throw.  For others, it might be the hand carved salad bowl, or the hand-dyed tea towel.

When I first embarked on my journey to create Bailey Builds, my business centered around functional art through furniture building.  I used wood from pallets and discarded lumber to create furniture that was not only functional, but intriguing to look at.  With wood as my medium, I created chevron patterns and played with color, incorporating different design elements and textures into benches, tables, and the like.  One of the pieces that still gains attraction years later, was my spin on a laundry sorter hidden within a hutch.  It became viral.  I think the fact that it served a much needed purpose in many homes, but was also a beautiful piece of furniture that could accent any living space, made the combination so popular.

Throughout the course of my artisan journey, I landed on what you know today as our Modern and Classic Mosaic Wall art, which was born out of the scraps of the furniture pieces I created, as I strove to utilize as much of the recycled wood as possible.  I love creating these pieces because they add both warmth and intrigue to any space.  It has been fun to come full circle and take the art of our mosaics and marry them with the elements of form and function.  And once again, creating something that both serves a need and is beautiful to look at has proven to be a welcomed addition to our Bailey Builds Collection.

So far our Bailey Builds team has come up with some beautiful designs to make life a little more organized.  We started with coasters and bookmarks.  Our first larger offering was our Classic Mosaic Coat Hook Rack.  Then came our Plant Irrigator Shelf.  Our first Modern Mosaic offering has been our Key Hook Rack, and we’re looking forward to creating other pieces of functional art in the future.

Life is busy.  Adding beautiful tools that make our life easier should be a staple.  They are what make up some of the simple pleasures of life.  Do you have a favorite coffee mug that you’ll reach to the back of the cupboard to find, to savor your morning coffee with?  Or perhaps it’s that new table runner that makes you smile as you set the table for dinner.  Whatever the case, fill your life with the simple pleasure of functional art.  Do you have any ideas for functional art to add to our collection?  Let us know at info@baileybuilds.com.