Under the Influence: Britt Hawkes of Sea + Pattern

Sat Jul 31, 2021

We discovered Britt Hawkes's Portland brand Sea + Pattern through her cast-concrete housewares, but it turns out the project has had many incarnations — it originally began as a fashion blog, capitalizing on Hawkes's decade-long experience in the fashion industry, before morphing into a line of handmade jewelry that channels her love of both art and architecture. Only recently did Hawkes add the housewares, all of which are named after or inspired by some of our favorite modern and contemporary artists: There's the Giorgio Vessel (Giorgio Morandi) and the Arp Bookends (Jean Arp), plus the piece that ultimately caught our eye, the Chicago Dish, which takes the shape of Anish Kapoor's famed Cloud Gate sculpture and which we immediately envisioned using as a very stylish ashtray.

To celebrate the debut of the Chicago Dish ($48) on Tetra, we asked Hawkes to tell us more about the influences that are inspiring her work now, from concrete floors to color theory.


Britt's current influences:

1. Frank Lloyd Wright's red concrete floors

I recently visited the Frank Lloyd Wright Gordon House in Silverton, Oregon, and noticed his use of the red concrete flooring, which I had also seen at Taliesin West. It’s a bold choice, but each time I see it I love it more! Currently, I’m playing around with pigments to get the perfect red for future Chicago dishes.

2. Vija Celmins's graphite wave drawings

Her photo-realistic details shine through on each and every one of these drawings. I love that you can’t tell if you’re looking at a photograph or a drawing.

3. Sophie Taeuber-Arp's mixed-media works

I love her use of geometric shapes in her abstract paintings. She uses different components to give more depth to the compositions, so you’re looking at more than shapes floating on a canvas.

4. Color Theory

I’ve always been intrigued by color theory and the interaction of color. The color scheme for Sea + Pattern is very muted, but that’s why it seems so important to get the shades exactly right. I also love seeing my combination of colors together, so you can get a true feel for the color story.

5. Frank Stella paintings

The repetition in all of Stella’s paintings is very pleasing to the eye. They almost have a kaleidoscopic feel to them, especially with the glossy layer on top.