Thursday, September 3, 2015

On FLEEK: It's da boom!

The "dandelion boom," also known as the "sea urchin," aka "metal pom" aka "sun/star/fireworks burst" is back.




So what is it?


A 1960s-era spiny metal sculpture that looks great hanging, resting or mounted on a stand. Booms come in many sizes and metal finishes, and they look even better grouped.

There are table lamp versions...

...as well as chandelier models.

Found on Pinterest

Lauren Santo Domingo/Vogue

And you can never have too many. That is, if you can afford even one.

But let's not jump ahead. First let's make sure you know how much you really-really need this nifty and historic accessory to shake up your early-21st-century-whatever decor.


Meet the 'boombadiers'


Jerry Fels, a World War 2 fighter pilot, and Curtis Freiler, a German-born immigrant who survived the Nazi death camps, met in the 1940s, married sisters, and created the C. Jeré brand by combining their names. They formed a company called Artisan House to manufacture "gallery-quality art for the masses."

Found on Pinterest

C. Jeré's boom became chic right away and is now considered vintage chic. Though Artisan House has changed hands a few times since then, it still manufactures the boom, as well as other popular mid-century modern designs by the pair.


Found on Pinterest

Fels died in 2008 and Freiler followed in 2013 (at age 103!). Since then prices of original issues and knock-offs have sky-rocketed.


Brace yourself for shell-shock


A seven-inch diameter boom, unsigned and cobbed off a larger C. Jeré sculpture, sold on Etsy recently for $125. A bargain, as you'll see.




This 40-inch-diameter mixed-metal boom, signed and dated 1986, is curently listed on 1st Dibs for $3,200. If that price is still a little steep for your pocketbook, the stainless steel one next to it, 26.5-inches in diameter, is only $1,900 (plus $249 shipping, sans signature/date).

Still too high? Not to worry...

Jonathan Adler

 Jonathan Adler has done us little people a favor with a reissued version--an attached grouping of five (on the fireplace above) for a mere $1,500. Thanks so, Jon-Jon.


How I learned to love the boom...


Dr. Strangelove aside, I own four of these sculptures, and I picked them up for a song in 2012 on Joss & Main. Mine are nickel-finished (no signatures, of course), and I paid around $7 for a six-inch size and about $12 each for three 12-inch ones.

I didn't know when I bought them how famous the design was. I just liked them when I saw them and knew exactly how I wanted to use them (which shows my great taste, right?). Pretty much everyone who comes to my house notices them, and at Christmas they look festive hung with crystal icicles.

But before you rush on over to J&M to register and get your own...

Joss & Main/Evelyn Decor

...this same close-out/overstock site recently listed these two at $50.95 for the 10-inch and $100.95 for the 15-inch. So the price inflation is everywhere.

Well, almost everywhere.


Get ready to explode with joy...


Because Target has a version the rest of us can afford: a set of three different sizes for just $19.99, available on-line or in-store.

Photo found on HonestlyWTF/Instagram

...which means your budget can probably handle more sets if you want repeats of the same size. And if you prefer a different color, your wish is only a can of spray paint away.


Lee Kleinhelter/Lonny

In fact, you could make them from scratch if you have a steady hand, time and patience because the blogosphere is full of tutorials. Some use pencils, wooden skewers or toothpicks stuck in clay, Playdoh or styrofoam, and then spray-painted. Here are a few links to check out:


And once you have a finished product, see how it stands up against artist Jennifer Maestre's similarly inspired colored pencil sculptures...

Cycad (front view) by Jennifer Maestre

Cycad (top view)/Jennifer Maestre
Oh well, we can't all be pros. Just enjoy the beauty she creates in both sculpture and pencil jewelry, while I try to figure out how she keeps all those points sharp (winky-wink).

Big ka-boom design kiss from me to you until tomorrow: XoXoXo

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