Various Artists
Better with Butter: A Digital Exhibition
NYCxDesign Week 2024

Introduction

In celebration of Areaware's latest butter-centric accessories for the kitchen, Everything Nice Butter Dish (Sophie Lou Jacobsen) and Twist Spread Set (Pat Kim), we invited artists, designers, ceramicists, and other creatives to participate in a digital group exhibition for NYCxDesign Week. The artists were tasked with making a sculpture inspired by an everyday object that could only be made better with butter. The objects are ones found in their homes, studios, or—at least in one case—on their person.

When all of these butter sculptures are brought together, the result is a display of affection and appreciation for the objects that we might typically overlook but that, though small, hold a significant presence in our lives—much like butter, a simple ingredient that has been making our every day a little bit better for many, many years.

  • 1.

    Pat Kim
    Sardines,
     2024
    Butter

    I love sardines, I've been eating them way before the tinned fish trend exploded recently, haha. But I also love saving the tins, they are useful for organizing small parts.

  • 2.

    Sophie Lou Jacobsen & Lauren Gerstel
    Butter Bialetti, 2024
    Amish Country Roll Butter

    Lauren and I chose to recreate the classic Bialetti coffee maker for this project – it's a favorite object for both of us, and relates to my recent 'Passaggi' exhibition in Milan last month, where I recreated the Bialetti in clear glass.

  • 3.

    Dara Oramas, Areaware
    My Bread & Butter 1, 
    2024
    Wegmen's Unsalted Butter, baguette

    It is an immense challenge to decide which are my favorite everyday objects. However, I can say that I have a particular fondness and appreciation for the objects I develop for Areaware. This sculpture is an ode to all the designs that talented people have entrusted me with bringing to reality.

  • 4.

    Dara Oramas, Areaware
    My Bread & Butter 2, 
    2024
    Wegmen's Unsalted Butter, baguette

    See Plate 3 for artist's statement.

  • 5.

    Julianne Ahn, Object & Totem
    Cotton Twine, 2024
    Kerrygold Unsalted Butter

    I was inspired to represent a spool of cotton twine in my kitchen drawer I often use for fastening baked goods wrapped in parchment, which reminded me of my favorite Roy Lichtenstein painting, ‘Ball of Twine’ from 1963.

  • 6.

    Rachel Saunders
    Buttered Ephemera,
     2024
    Salted Natrel Butter

    Wanted to reference the beauty of the Twist Spread Set with my favorite spiral candle and little amphora candle holder based on a ceramic one I made.

The Origins of Butter

Butter has been in human’s lives and on our plates for thousands of years, dating back as far as the Neolithic period. It’s speculated the first butter was made by accident. Rumor has it, a nomad tied a sheepskin bag full of milk to his horse, which shook long enough to solidify into a creamy, delicious spread ("The History of Butter," butterjournal.com). Next time you enjoy an especially good slab of butter, remember to give thanks to this legendary nomad.

  • 7.

    Kelsey Chabolla
    Butterangelo, 2024
    Little Billy's Butter (sea salt)

    I was inspired by the Bookend (a bust of David) that holds up a collection of my favorite design books on the shelf next to my kitchen. Using Little Billy’s goat butter as a medium, I wanted to challenge my sculpting capabilities, replicating this sculpture.

  • 8.

    Grain
    Totem Butter Candles, 2024
    Organic Valley Salted Butter

    Inspired by our Totem Candles. They are so ubiquitous that it felt fun to re-vision them in another material.

  • 9.

    Nik Bentel
    Home Office (Butter) Cup, 2024
    Breakstone's Butter (Salted and Unsalted)

    Inspired by that mug everyone uses for those "extra things." I use mine just about everyday.

  • 10.

    Woldy Reyes
    Cutting Boards, 2024
    Kerrygold Grass-Fed Unsalted Butter

    Through the transformation of butter into sculpted blocks resembling cutting boards, I strive to evoke a sense of whimsy and playfulness.

  • 11.

    CHIAOZZA
    Butter Cups,
     2024
    365 Whole Foods Market Unsalted Butter

    Modeled after our morning coffee cups. That first sip of hot, black coffee in the morning holds with it a freshness and a vibrancy that leaves us with the feeling that anything is possible.

  • 12.

    Chen Chen & Kai Williams
    Butter Butt,
     2024
    Country Crock Butter

    Self explanatory.

13.

Selena Liu
Soft Clutter
, 2024
Clarified butter and butter

A 'Soft Clutter' of mundane objects that I find visually pleasing. Some were cut and carved out of a mixture of solid and spreadable butter, while others were frozen and cast in a mold.

Conclusion

Below you will find Everything Nice Butter Dish and Twist Spread Set, the inspiration behind our Better with Butter group exhibition. They are objects made for entertaining and enjoying everyday meals, either with others or alone, and are arguably some of the few things that actually make butter better.

Our deepest gratitude to all the participants: Jessica Ahn of Object & Totem, Nik Bentel, Kelsey Chabolla of Little Billy's Butter, Chen Chen and Kai Williams, Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao of CHIAOZZA, Sophie Lou Jacobsen and Lauren Gerstel, Pat Kim, Selena Liu, James and Chelsea Minola of Grain, Dara Oramas of Areaware, Woldy Reyes, and Rachel Saunders.

As you leave the exhibition, we invite you to explore these objects and hope they will add some delight to your kitchen and tabletop. Thanks for visiting!

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Welcome to the Better with Butter Gift Shop

Shop Everything Nice Butter Dish and Twist Spread Set, as well as other objects by participating Areaware designers.

  • Everything Nice Butter Dish
    designed by Sophie Lou Jacobsen

    The Everything Nice Butter Dish adds a bit of elegance to the humble stick of butter. The wavy dish is a touch flirty, and the lid has a round knob that makes it easy to pick up.

  • Twist Spread Set
    designed by Pat Kim

    This wooden knife and spoon spread set welcomes whimsy to your morning toast, PB&J sandwiches, and midnight snacks. Break them out at a party to accompany dips and cheese boards.

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