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Ceramics from across that wee little Pond

September 09, 2004|Leslee Komaiko;Lisa Moricoli Latham;Tim Sanchez

When Cheryl and Charlie Dimont decided they needed a career change (she had been a set designer, he a music exec), they looked to their shared passion: contemporary British ceramics. The result is Clay, an airy new bi-level gallery in Venice featuring the work of nearly 30 artists living and working in Britain -- some up-and-comers, many well established. For example, Robert Dawson, an American living in London who is best known for his large-scale architectural installations, has created a group of 11 dinner plates that riff on the classic 19th century blue and white Willow pattern. The plates are available individually ($125) or as a set. Susan Nemeth's multicolored porcelain bowls and vases ($135 to $800), in soft tones such as sea foam and butter yellow, with a glass-like liquid quality, and Takeshi Yasuda's spiral vessels ($2,250 each), like living organisms imbued with movement, are among the other highlights.

In the future, the Dimonts, who lived in London through most of the '90s but now call Los Angeles home, might expand beyond U.K. artists. But, says Cheryl, "we had to start with what we know."

Clay, 226 Main St., Venice; (310) 399-1416.

Leslee Komaiko

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If you missed the wave this summer when a certain mail-order giant sold out of its surfboard rugs faster than we could say "aloha," fear not. Dudes and wahines alike can hang 10 in the safety of a bathroom, playroom or hallway on the acrylic rugs we found online. Available in four colors, the small rugs (17 3/4 inches by 43 1/2 inches) come in classic pinstripe ($35.95 on sale for $10 off) or Hawaiian florals ($37.95 on sale for $10 off). The medium-sized short board rugs (72 inches by 20 inches) come in flame or floral ($51.95), and the large long board rugs ($62.95, 90 inches by 20 inches) come in floral or a classic surfer stripe (shown here).

Available at www. hawaiiankinestuff. com/surfboardrugs. html, or mail order at (808) 741-5821.

Lisa Moricoli Latham

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Ever wonder how to rid your home of those houseguests who just don't get the hint? Though the new Electronic Pest Repeller by Black & Decker won't work on family and friends who are between jobs and on your couch, it will help eliminate the peskier ones such as spiders, cockroaches and mice. Designed for those less inclined to spend hours setting traps and spreading boric acid on doorways and windows, this device emits highly powerful ultrasonic signals that disrupt pests' nervous systems. Unable to withstand the audible disorientation, the sounds compel the unwanted to seek refuge elsewhere. Akin to a bartender at closing time, the unit basically says to these creepy-crawlies, "You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here."

From $7.99 to $19.99 at most home centers. (800) 330-4108, www.blackanddecker.com.

-- Tim Sanchez

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