present joys

Dirty martinis, presents by parcel, cozy cobijas, and Fitzcarraldo Editions reads.

Studio Lenca Cobija | Present Joys


Words by:

Joyce Chai + Michelle Jolliffe

Go Stop Card Game | Present Joys | Present Studio
Downtime playtime

I grew up seeing the beautiful, illustrative deck of hwatu cards being played by my parents, aunts, and uncles, but have never learned to play its game, Go Stop, until recently. It’s a “fishing card” game where the goal is to be the first player to rack up a certain number of points depending on how many players are involved. The point system is admittedly confusing for the uninitiated, but clarity comes with each successive shuffle. It’s been a fun way to fill our evenings.

Present Studio Present Joys Death of an Artist Podcast by Pushkin and Somethin Else
A podcast that simultaneously serves our appetite for true crime and art world fodder.

I’ve been enthralled with this podcast hosted by curator Helen Molesworth which examines the possible murder of artist Ana Mendieta by her then-spouse and famed minimalist sculptor, Carl Andre. It poses intellectual questions surrounding gender, race, artistic genius and the power it wields–all the while feeling satisfyingly salacious enough to binge. Especially loved Episode 6.

Musso & Frank's dinner
A dirty discovery

Leave it to a recent trip to Musso & Frank’s to reveal that, yes, actually, I do like dirty martinis. Brinier the better.

Dune Vessel from Ceramicah alongside an ikebana arrangement
Present by Parcel

Our clients, Alexandra and Micah of Ceramicah, recently sent us a thank you gift to cap off our recent work together. It’s such a delight to see the new branding in use and to have our very own Dune Vessel to treasure. Congratulations are also in order for their recent feature as one of Sight Unseen’s 2022 American Design Hot List!

Studio GDB Tiles | Present Joys
Trance-worthy tiles

Merging design, technology, and materials, Studio GDB’s custom ceramic tiles live in the dreams of an imaginary future home. The intersectionality between art and function just feel right.

Studio Lenca Cobija | Present Joys
Cross-border cobijas

The word “cobija” is a term used in some Latin American countries to mean blanket. When I think of cobijas, I think back to late nights in the back of my Mom’s car waiting in the hours-long lines to cross back into the U.S. from Mexico and begging my Mom for a cozy cobija from one of the many vendors along the road. As they meandered in and out of the lanes, I remember trying to keep track of which vendors sold which types of cobijas. There were the ones the kids always gravitated towards - the ones covered in Disney characters in their bold colors - the fuzziness of the cobija mimicking what I supposed Simba’s mane might actually feel like. And then there were the ones for the norteños filled with horses and cowboy regalia, the Virgens de Guadalupe for the pious or those needing an extra layer of spiritual protection, and the floral choices for the more genteel audience. While the prints were endless, the texture of the cobijas were all the same - a synthetic softness whose texture I can sense without needing to feel in person. Studio Lenca’s recent take on the cobija sparked this entire nostalgic reflection. Upon seeing his work, I instantly connected with the subject and the memories enveloped me in the same way the massive cobija did on those late night drives home.

Happy flowers for gray days

Just love the conceptual connectedness of Jennifer Latour’s photography which showcases florals of different varieties growing from the same stem. It’s a gentle reminder that even though we may not be physically connected - the entirety of the natural world is interdependent in ways we cannot see and perhaps are only beginning to understand.

Present Joys - Michelle with her new Fitzcarraldo Edition books

Everything I’ve read by the publisher, Fitzcarraldo Editions, has left me thinking long after I’ve finished reading. My brother and sister-in-law recently gifted me their subscription which has made me endlessly happy.

Aftersun Movie still image of main characters laying by a pool

One of the more beautiful movies I’ve seen in quite some time. Following a young father and his daughter on a trip to Turkey, this movie makes you question your own relation to family and the memories made together. It reminded me that there are so many realities and of my grandmother’s anecdote that “every mind is a universe.”

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