They use "found objects that existed in another life" and "recycled industrial parts" to make their sculpture-turned-furniture. And so successful have they been at their craft that this group of Towson State University students has been selected as one of seven universities from across the country to participate in the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York.
"It's a real coup for us to attend," said faculty coordinator Jim Paulsen, who will accompany the students to the event, which begins today and ends Wednesday.
Among the items to be shown are a sapphire-colored "bar stool" with a whimsical seat that Julie Flanigan created from a circular saw blade; a wooden chair made by Shana Kroiz; a glass-top table created from a brake rotor by Bill Knapp; a bentwood chair and two lamps made from reconstructed metal parts by Mark Habicht; a forged and hammered steel table created by Barry Sheehan; and a low-to-the-ground table made with I-beams, a rock and glass by Lee Lehnert.
"It's more of a piece of sculpture with a utilitarian function," said Mr. Lehnert of their work. All of the items will be on sale, with prices in four figures.
Remember the Campbell Soup twins, the Sunbeam bread girl or Esso's tiger? Ever thought of old advertisements with the likenesses of such characters as art?
Jennifer Robinson of JR's Antiques does.
Ms. Robinson sells inexpensive black and white or color nostalgic advertisements from the 1920s to the 1960s -- each matted and framed. She says they're great for decorating the office, club room or first apartment. Choose a single ad or ads with the same theme, time period or product.
The advertisements are taken from Life, Saturday Evening Post and several women's magazines.
"Each one tells a story," she says. "They are crisp and clean, antique and modern at the same time."
Her bestsellers feature babies, vintage cars and insurance ads. Coke ads from the '20s through the '60s, beauty products and a Lux Soap ad featuring Mae West are some of the other ads available.
Prices range from $3 for a matted half-page ad to $20 and up for full-page ads, matted and framed. Ms. Robinson also carries Wallace Nutting hand-painted photographs.
Ms. Robinson's shop is located in Abundant Treasures Gallery at 10818 York Road, Cockeysville. Information: (410) 666-9797.
Jill L. Kubatko The geometric patterns of American patchwork quilts, beloved for generations, have shown up on all sorts of surfaces in recent years, from sheets to china to painted furniture. Now there's a new way for aficionados of country decor to get the patterns into their homes: Armstrong, in conjunction with Country Home magazine, has just introduced a new line of floor tiles based on classic quilt designs. Available patterns in the 9-inch-by-9-inch, solid-color vinyl tiles are Ohio Star, Double X, One Patch, Nine Patch, Snowball and Basket.
Armstrong says it's not necessary to get professional help to install the flooring. The magazine's editors "have mapped out suggested patterns that are easily reproduced." For a 16-page booklet, "Patchwork Floors," send a check for $3 to Armstrong World Industries, Department QUILTPR, P.O. Box 3001, Lancaster, Pa. 17604.
Karol V. Menzie Heloise's latest book, Heloise from A to Z (Perigee Books, Putnam Publishing Group, $10.95), written in alphabetical-dictionary form, offers these hints:
* To recycle an old door, add legs and paint, and you have a desk or table. The height is up to you.
* To keep a refrigerator top clean, cover it with plastic wrap; clean by removing wrap and replacing it with clean wrap.
* Remove moss from patio or walkway bricks by sprinkling a solution that is half water and half bleach onto the moss. This should remove moss without discoloring the brick, but it's always best to test first in an inconspicuous place.
* Place garden tools such as rakes, hoes and shovels into a large garbage can and hang smaller tools on S-hooks around the rim. Then drag your tools along with you as you work.
Jill L. Kubatko