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INSIDE & OUT : Wall Wares

Flatware takes on another dimension as wall art by Laguna Beach native Daphne Confar.

Using an encaustic process, Confar transforms classic forks and spoons into accents for the kitchen, dining room or living room.

The process, an ancient technique, gives each piece a soft-shadow highlight. The silverware is first pounded flat, and a wax well is set.

“People’s first reaction is to feel the art,” says Confar, who studied at the Art Institute of Southern California and searches across the country to find utensils. “They’re unsure whether they are seeing a very realistic painting or something else.”

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The Flatware Series ($245 for each piece) is available at the Re-finery, 1294 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, (714) 376-1688.

In Plane View

Finding the angle is simple enough in the Verteces collection, the inaugural line by Egyptian architect Hassan Abouseda.

Using only four simple components--a hardwood frame, a sequence of sliding shelves, a drawer and a glass top--Abouseda has put together a group of tables, dressers, desks, bookcases and a side chair.

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The end table ($1,200) has a poplar frame and glass top, with celadon lacquer shelves and drawers. A system of lap joints and wooden dowels is used to ensure that all the handcrafted pieces are strong and stable.

Abouseda, born and raised in Cairo, studied architecture at M.I.T. before working several months for a cabinetmaker to learn the finer points of constructing wood furniture.

For more information, call (212) 925-3100.

Getting a Grip

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As if grapefruit isn’t sour enough, trying to eat one in a bowl is enough to make anyone bitter, what with all the slipping and sliding around the fruit can do.

Now you can get a handle on things with the grapefruit bowl offered by Williams-Sonoma. The white porcelain bowls have little molded spikes to hold the grapefruit firmly in place. They are glazed and oven-proof, so they can withstand the heat of the broiler.

The bowls ($12 plus shipping and handling for a set of four) are available only through the Williams-Sonoma catalog. For call (800) 541-2233.


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