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February, 2015 |

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WaPoFood Weekend Kitchen: Self-cleaning pots and pans, sort of

Sad pot and pan, in need of a good scrub. (The Washington Post)

The same product has new packaging; this is the old. (The Washington Post)

Something will be simmering atop my stove on Super Bowl Sunday, but it won’t be the least bit appetizing, or edible. Ingredients: water and several tablespoons of a powdered food-and-beverage-stain remover for metal, porcelain and glass.

Once the stuff comes to a boil and you reduce the heat, it has to go for a good 30 minutes or more, depending on how stubbornly your pots and pans are stained. No scrubbing is required, and a good rinsing is mandatory.

In truth, the concoction doesn’t smell all that great, either. What with the chili and/or wings and/or nachos and/or dips and/or fabulous loaded potatoes, though, there should be enough pleasant aromatic distraction to prevail. All in all, that’s a win-win on game day — and a kind of spa day for the vessels that serve this recipe tester and therefore you, dear Food section readers, so well.

Last summer, an industrious housesitting pal took it upon herself to treat my old Le Creuset Dutch oven to such a boil-and-soak, and it reminded me about Dip-It, the decades-old product that you can find at hardware stores (and online). Its main ingredient is sodium carbonate, sometimes called washing soda, which is said to be less acidic than baking soda. Its other chemical agents do things like dissolve and bleach solids and keep them from floating back down to rest where they’ve just been dislodged. Last year it was rebranded as Dip-It Lime-A-Way, and the packaging changed from blue to green; its ingredients and manufacturer remained the same.

I’ll post the “after” photo of my pot and pan on Twitter, during the fourth quarter.

If you are inspired to do the same, what are you going to cook in your refurbished pot? I turn to our Recipe Finder. I’m thinking curry. . . .

(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Chicken, Spinach and Lentil Coconut Curry

(From “Easy Vegan” Ryland Peters Small (2010))

Creamy Vegetable and Cashew Nut Curry

(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Sweet Apple Chicken Curry

(Mark Gail/The Washington Post)

Salmon in Curry Sauce (Kary Trey Salmon)

(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Tofu Curry With Mustard Greens

More from Food’s WaPoFood Weekend Kitchen:

Frozen spinach salute

Roast chickenirvana

Ode to a multipurpose pan

Toss 3 in the oven for 1 hour, expand weeknight options

Marinate and chill

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Right at Home: Latin American style comes home

The exuberant colors, textures and patterns of Latin America crafts are injecting an easy, comfortable and fun aesthetic into home decor.

The look includes textured rugs, throws that evoke serape motifs and furniture with an authentically hand-turned appearance.

House Home magazine recently featured designer Heidi Merrick’s Los Angeles home, with cowhide rugs, Bolivian “frasada” blankets used as daybed throws, and spicy hues like orange, marine blue and pink.

Ralph Lauren Home’s La Hacienda fabric collection includes traditional florals and graphic woven prints in earthy reds and turquoise with punches of black, white and sunbaked brights.

It’s not all about the fiesta, however. Mexican Modern is a look characterized by contemporary furnishings and quiet color, with one or two artisan pieces as counterpoints.

New Yorker Katherine Ponte works with indigenous Brazilian artisans to bring sustainably produced traditional crafts to a wider market through her e-shop, Ecostasy. “I’m focused on the aesthetics as well as the cultural and environmental context of each piece,” she says.

She offers bowls made by hand-tying banana fiber and recycled paper. Tropical vines and herbs are fashioned into trays by the people of the Mamiraua Reserve, in the Amazon rainforest. Slabs of ipe and pequia, two South American hardwoods, are transformed into organic coffee tables. (

Novica’s fair-trade craft e-shop features pieces found at local markets throughout Latin America (and in developing countries worldwide). The site not only offers artisans a platform to sell their waves; it also provides marketing and technical support. The craftspeople control the creative, production and pricing aspects, Novica says.

Finding a charming and beautifully carved cedar statue at a Lima, Peru, market, for example, Novica’s co-founders, Roberto Milk and Mina Olivera, searched the countryside for the craftsman. Johnny Chamba’s little “Ekeko,” or good luck token, is now on the site.

Also at Novica: Peruvian artist Alejandro Chavez uses ceramic plaster to make tiny detailed “retablos” or dioramas depicting daily life in the Andes. Farmers harvest prickly pears; merchants sell blankets and masks in a market. The figures are mounted in wooden chests and can be hung on the wall.

And Zosimo Laura weaves soothing, rustic hues of cotton into a striking, contemporary, bird-print tapestry.

From Brazil, you’ll find Elizabeth and Eduardo Prado’s fused glass-bead bowls in an emerald green they say was inspired by tropical rain.

Leandro Mantesso’s black-and-white photographs of Andean topography and daily life are evocative, and Andre de Miranda’s woodcuts are modern art with heart.

Guatemalan ceramic artist Lilyan Benecke’s offers winsome Margarita daisy-strewn tea sets and plates. Fellow Guatemalan Patricio Coroy crafts alder wood into serving trays which are lined with hand-loomed traditional prints under glass. (

At other retailers:

Wayfair’s got a subway-stop-style sign listing Mexico City train stops. A hinged Safavieh trunk is clad in a kilim textile. From designer Grace Feycock for Uttermost there’s a set of two Carilla medallions in distressed coral ceramic. And Yumanmod’s sharp 314 ottoman is covered in a teal-and-ivory, South American-patterned textile that would work well in a contemporary family room. ( )

Urban Outfitters has some well-priced woven rugs that fit the style vibe. (

Check out and other online sources for Talavera pottery, in items ranging from dinnerware to sinks.

Deny Designs offers California artist Deb Haugen’s Mexican Surf Trip pattern on a range of items including art prints and shower curtains and pillows. (

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KitchenAid’s Multi-Cooker stirs the pot and can handle just about any task a …

Anyone who’s made risotto knows it’s kind of an all-consuming process. You can’t walk away from it, as it requires frequent stirring and a watchful eye. It’s sort of the opposite of a slow-cooker stew, which you can set and forget. That’s why it’s pretty cool that KitchenAid decided to make one machine that can handle both dishes.

The four-quart Multi-Cooker goes a few steps beyond an ordinary slow cooker, which typically have just two temperature settings: low and high. While this machine has those, for certain cooking modes, you can set the Multi-Cooker to between 110 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit. It has cooking settings that include steam or boil, sauté, sear, simmer, and slow cook. There are also preprogrammed risotto, soup, rice, and yogurt settings, as well. To aid with some of these settings, a two-in-one steam basket and roasting rack is included.

Related: Cookie time all the time: This (toy) oven lets you make Girl Scout cookies at home

If you want to make risotto and have the optional stir tower attachment, the dish suddenly becomes something you can prepare without having to babysit. Scroll through the preprogrammed options and select “Risotto.” The machine heats up to the “Sauté” setting; you can use the timer for this step, if you prefer. Add your ingredients, finish sautéing, and hit the arrow button to continue to the “Simmer” mode. As the machine cools, you can again hit the timer, then add the rest of your ingredients. Hit the arrow again when the dish is done to set the Multi-Cooker for “keep warm,” which will stay on for up to 24 hours if you didn’t set a timer. Throughout the process, the stirrer’s paddle will mix the risotto, scraping the sides of the bowl to ensure consistency.

If you prefer manual mode, the machine displays six different temperature modes for use like a typical stove, including warm, low, medium low, medium, medium high, and high. The display will also give you the temperature for each setting; for example, medium is 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

The stir tower has three constant stirring speeds and two intermittent ones. It costs $250, and the Multi-Cooker will set you back $350. However, Williams Sonoma is currently selling both together for $400. If you already have a slow cooker, it probably doesn’t make sense to upgrade, but if you’ve been thinking of investing in one, the Multi-Cooker might just have enough tricks to justify the extra cost.

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Ty Pennington appears at Home + Garden Show

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. – He might be television’s most recognized home builder, remodeler and improvement expert. From Trading Spaces to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Ty Pennington’s career is bigger than ever.

Pennington joined us on KARE Saturday to preview the 2015 Minneapolis Home + Garden Show, where he’ll give a presentation on the Ace Hardware Paint Studio Lifestyle Stage on Saturday at 11 a.m.

The show is sure to inspire homeowners with its more than 1,000 experts sharing new ideas and practical advice, as well as hundreds of exhibits featuring innovative products and services. The show boasts great deals and shopping experiences all related to home, gardening, remodeling, and home decor.

Other highlights of this year’s Minneapolis Home + Garden Show:

Internationally-recognized design/build contractor and Canadian television personality, Ramsin Khachi. Sasha Andreev will present the Show’s standout innovative products. Local architect and designer Jaque Bethke. Ursula Carmona, 2015 Home Garden Trendsetter Finalist and DIY guru/blogger.

The Idea Home: “Active Living Idea Home” built and presented by Viebrock Construction. This 1,400 square foot home uses every inch of its footprint with very little wasted space.

The Warners’ Stellian Kitchen Stage: Take a seat and learn a new recipe from some of the area’s best restaurateurs and media personalities.

The Feature Gardens presented by Star Tribune: “Twin Cities Best Backyards” is the theme of this year’s Feature Gardens. Nine local landscapers will be showcasing designs from relaxing outdoor retreats to technology-driven entertaining spaces.

Spring Boutique: For the first time, nearly 30 select exhibitors will sell decor, jewelry, accessories, antiques, and floral and garden ornamentals.

Upscale Upcycling with Carter Averbeck and Omfore Design: Interior Designer Carter Averbeck works with local artists to create incredible décor pieces from the most unlikely sources and takes recycling to a whole new level.

Garden Theater Stage: Learn from some of the country’s most knowledgeable gardening experts on a variety of topics including water features, bee and pollinator protection, and edible landscaping.

The 2015 Minneapolis Home + Garden Show will be held February 25 – March 1 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Tickets are now on sale online at Minneapolis Home + Garden Show.

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Southwest Florida Chamber Connections – The News

Bonita Springs

The Wake-Up Young Professionals Breakfast will be held Tuesday from 7:45-9 a.m. at Starbucks Coffee Company, 27250 Bay Landing Drive, in Bonita Springs. Start your morning off with a drink from Starbucks and some networking with other young professionals. Then head over to Tide Dry Cleaners for a behind-the-scenes tour of their facility. The Bonita Springs Area Young Professionals is a networking group for career-minded individuals, ages 21-40, who are looking to develop professionally and build their network in Southwest Florida.

The Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony for La Maison d’Elise to celebrate their grand opening at The Promenade in Bonita Springs, 26831 South Bay Drive, #104. La Maison d’Elise is a retailer of luxury items from France and Europe. They offer a selection of unique items such as candles, kitchen and home products, hand blown glass, pottery, dishes and other merchandise from high-end European brands. It is owned by husband and wife, Jean-Christophe and Elise Hemon. For information, call 494-1296.

The Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony for Beach Box Café to celebrate their grand opening in Naples at 9020 Gulf Shore Drive. The Beach Box Café is a quick service restaurant near Vanderbilt Beach. Their menu includes sandwiches, flatbreads, pitas, calzones and salads, as well as a full bar menu. They also offer freshly-made frozen yogurt and soft serve ice cream with different toppings for dessert. It offers a variety of live entertainment throughout the week including Reggae Nights on Thursdays. They also sell beach essentials such as sun screen, goggles and bike rentals. For information, call 301-0950 or visit

Above Board

The Above Board Chamber will be presenting a panel discussion on the “Secrets of business longevity” on March 9 at the Hilton Naples, 5111 Tamiami Trail N., in Naples and on March 12 at The Landings Yacht, Golf and Tennis Club in Fort Myers. The luncheon event begins at 11:30 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m.

For the Naples meeting: registration is due on or before March 5 for a registration fee of $25 for members and $28 for friends. After March 5, registration fee is $28 for members and $33 for friends.

For the Fort Myers meeting: registration is due on or before March 6 for a registration fee of $22 for members and $28 for friends. After March 5, registration fee is $28 for members and $32 for friends.

For information, contact Jeanne Sweeney at 910-7426 or visit


The Estero Chamber of Commerce is holding its March 2015 Rise Shine Breakfast Networking Event on Thursday at Living Well Chiropractic, 10020 Coconut Road, in Bonita Springs. Rise Shine Breakfast Networking Events are generally held on one Thursday morning per month. Networking begins at 8:30 a.m. with door prizes and a continental breakfast and concludes at 9:30 a.m. The cost per member in advance is $10, $15 at the door, and $15 for guests and/or non-members. Members and guests are requested to R.S.V.P. for this events at

Fort Myers

The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Women in Business will host its March networking meeting from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday at Six Bends Harley-Davidson, 9501 Thunder Road, in Fort Myers. Speakers include Keith Grossman with Grossman Law and Conflict Management; Angela Schivinski with the Florida Weekly; and Katie Haas with the Boston Red Sox who will discuss how to “Dominate When You Negotiate.” All business professionals are invited to attend. Admission is $10 for chamber members and $20 for future members. To register, call 332-2930 or visit

Cape Coral

The Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral will hold a Business Card Exchange on Tuesday from 7:30- 8:30 a.m. at Cape Coral Insurance Group, 820 Lafayette St., in Cape Coral. Refreshments will be served. Bring plenty of business cards so you are prepared to network, exchange ideas, meet potential new clients and make new friends.

Sanibel Captiva

The Sanibel Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting to welcome Whims, at their grand opening at 2451 Periwinkle Way. Whims is a boutique that was opened by two local artists, Susan Sadler and Beth Redpath. Whims offers a mix of handmade clothing, unusual jewelry, colorful accessories, ceramics and art. They are open from Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. During season, it is also open on Sundays from 12-4 p.m. For information, call 313-0535 or visit


The Naples Chamber of Commerce will host an Accelerated Networking Luncheon at Buffalo Wild Wings, 3290 Tamiami Trail East, in Naples, on Thursday from 11:15 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Join fellow chamber members for this rapid fire session of idea, contact and referral exchange each month on the first Thursday. Bring a supply of company brochures and business cards to distribute. This networking event is limited to members only. Attendance is limited to no more than two participants per company for effective networking. Reservations are required and no walk-ins will be accepted for this event. Register online by noon on Monday, March 2. Seating for this event begins at 11:15 a.m. Last seating and lunch service is at 11:45 a.m. to facilitate timely lunch service and program start. Program begins promptly at noon. The cost is $20 per person and includes lunch For information, call 298-7928 or email

The Leadership Collier Foundation, an affiliate of The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, is accepting applications for the Class of 2016 Leadership Collier program. Leadership Collier was formed by The Chamber in 1988 to develop a network of informed citizens prepared to assume leadership roles in our community. This program runs from September through March and includes 10 full-day sessions. Tuition is $2,100. Applications are due April 17. For information, contact Amanda Beights, Vice President, Leadership Collier Foundation, at 403-2903 or

North Fort Myers

Breakfast Networking with the North Fort Myers Chamber will be held Wednesday from 7:30-8:30 a.m. at Perkin’s Restaurant and Bakery, 13620 N. Cleveland Ave., in North Fort Myers. Enjoy breakfast, network and exchange business cards. For information, contact Chris Jackson at or call 997-9111.

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Backyard kitchens popular way to share good times

In recent years, Southeastern North Carolina residents have started thinking more about outdoor kitchens. This mirrors a trend all over the nation. A new survey released at the 2015 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas shows that while only 4 percent of affluent households (those with income of $150,000 or more) currently have outdoor kitchens, 13.6 percent say they’re planning to add one this year. The largest age group hoping to incorporate them is between the ages of 45 and 54, and more likely to have children in the home, according to the survey.

Alexis Wall and her husband Tim, who own Carolina Fireplace, have within the past six months started offering outdoor kitchen installation to their customers, 75 percent of which are people building custom new homes in the $350,000 and up range. They added this service due to a gradual increase in demand that started about four to five years ago, Alexis said. “That’s when we began noticing that people wanted stationary gas lines piped,” she said. “Instead of having removable tanks, we would run the line. Plus grills were getting bigger and having more accessories on them.”

People began asking more about outdoor kitchens about two or three years ago, Alexis said, so it was a natural transition to begin offering outdoor grills and cooktops while they were doing the fuel line piping.

“There’s definitely an increase in people inquiring about outdoor kitchens, especially here where you have the climate where you can entertain outdoors for a great portion of the year,” she said. “It’s a full outdoor kitchen setup with accessories. You really can move the whole party and all the prep outdoors.”

Carolina Fireplace works exclusively with RH Peterson Co. for grills and accessories in outdoor kitchens. RH Peterson manufactures several brands, but Fire Magic is a popular one, Alexis said.

Fire Magic offers premium outdoor grills and all the accessories that go along with them to create the perfect outdoor kitchen.

Serious grilling enthusiasts will want to check out the top-of-the-line Echelon Diamond series. The Echelon Diamond 1060, a stainless-steel, built-in, four-burner gas grill, retails for a base price of $7,125.55. Made in the U.S., it offers 1,056 square inches of cooking surface, a wood chip smoker with an independent burner, blue LED backlit safety knobs, all stainless-steel cooking grids, infrared burners, heat zone separators, halogen lamps for evening grilling and an electronic digital thermometer.

Customizable options include a view window for $442 as well as many other accessories, both built-in and separate. Stainless-steel burners, housing and cooking grids are under warranty as long as you own the grill, and there is a 15-year warranty on backburners.

“Just like you want your house to be standing forever, you know these outdoor kitchen components are built to last as well,” Alexis said. “They are made with materials that can withstand our salt air.”

If you want the whole nine yards with a cooktop, refrigerator and lots of counter space, your cost for an outdoor kitchen will top out at about $25,000, Alexis said. Throw in a mounted vent hood for a complete outdoor lodge with a fireplace, and your cost could climb as high as $40,000, she added.

But for those who are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on custom-built homes, many find the expense worth it because it allows them to really immerse themselves in the great outdoors while sharing good times with loved ones.

“We’re not competing for the average family that wants to go out and shop Lowe’s and Home Depot for a backyard grill,” Alexis said. “This kind of product at that price level targets those who have a commitment to living in this area and want to show their love for the southern coastal lifestyle.”

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Harry Bertoia’s Sculptures Find Their Audience

“A decade ago, if you mentioned Harry Bertoia, people would say, ‘He’s just a chair designer,’ without realizing that he spent only two years making chairs,” muses Jim Elkind of New York-based Lost City Arts. The artist’s name is synonymous with that ubiquitous icon of midcentury modern, the steel mesh Diamond chair, designed for Knoll in 1952. In the decades since its release, a quarter of a million Diamond chairs in various forms and materials have rolled off the Knoll production line. It is an astounding figure, considering Bertoia was paid a lump sum of $20,000 for the design of the chair, which Knoll continues to offer for $1,166.

While original Diamond chairs on the secondary market seldom surpass that retail figure, prices for Bertoia’s sculptural works have been steadily on the rise. They crossed the half-million-dollar mark at auction in November 2012 when his 7-foot-wide, brass-coated Screen Tree, circa 1955, sold for an artist record $578,500 on an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000 at the postwar and contemporary day sale at Christie’s New York. At that same sale, his 6-foot sound sculpture, Untitled (Sonambient), circa 1975, brought $422,500 on an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.

“In hindsight, my father wondered if he had made the right decision in choosing a single payment instead of a lifetime of royalties,” says Celia Bertoia, the artist’s daughter and head of the Bertoia Foundation. “But the money bought him a certain freedom. He was able to buy our Pennsylvania farmhouse, and the time to pursue what interested him most, his sculptures: the dandelion, willow, and bush forms; the sprays; the melts; and the tonals, which he began experimenting with in 1960.”

The tonals, or sonambients, are kinetic works composed of dozens of metal rods — most of beryllium copper — mounted vertically on a bronze or slate base and often capped with larger, weighted metal cylinders. The pieces range in size from diminutive tabletop models to works towering some 20 feet. When stroked, their ductile rods sway like blades of grass in the wind, producing a sound that is at once ethereal, haunting, and hypnotic, the pitch of each a function of its size and material composition. In time, Bertoia’s sonambients would be joined by other sound sculptures, gongsand plate-clad columns, designed to be struck with a percussionist’s mallet.

Over the course of a decade Bertoia created more than a hundred tonals, gongs, and columns for the stone barn in Pennsylvania, which he used as a “sound studio” and ad hoc concert hall, offering weekly performances for invited guests. He also produced 11 recordings of his compositions, which are being reissued in celebration of the centennial of the artist’s birth next month.

“My father often said the inspiration for the sound sculptures came from childhood memories of Gypsies from Hungary passing through the Friulian village where he was born,” says Celia, adding that the Gypsies would earn money repairing pots, pans, and other kitchen utensils. “Harry found beauty in the cacophonous clanging of metals as they wielded their hammers.”

Born in March 1915 in San Lorenzo, 50 miles north of Venice, Bertoia accompanied his father on a trip to the States in 1930 to visit his older brother, Oreste, who had settled in Detroit. Choosing to remain in Michigan, Bertoia soon anglicized his birth name, Arieto, and enrolled in Cass Technical High School, a public institution with a program for students gifted in arts and sciences. By his midteens, Bertoia’s talents were already evident in paintings, drawings, and monotypes, which he continued to produce throughout his career. (The monotypes, many of them studies for his later sculptures, can be found on the market for $1,500 to $8,500.) In 1937 he entered the Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he met Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, and Florence Schust Knoll, all of whom would influence his later work. Bertoia died at age 63 in November 1978, succumbing to lung cancer brought on in part by exposure to the toxic fumes of his forge.

“Bertoia was really ahead of his time,” says midcentury modern specialist Richard Wright of the Chicago-based Wright auction house, who has been instrumental in cultivating the market for Bertoia since the house held its first sale of his works in June 2000. At that time few sculptures had appeared on the block, and Bertoia’s reputation as an artist had faded to a large degree in the wake of his death. Since then, Wright says, he has witnessed sustained growth in demand, with more than 600 Bertoia pieces passing through the house. These have included the 10-foot-high Untitled (Monumental Sonambient), 1975, which commanded $374,500 against an ambitious estimate of $400,000 to $600,000 in a June 2013 sale of 17 large tonal works commissioned by the Standard Oil Company to grace a public plaza in front of its Edward Durell Stone-designed headquarters in Chicago. (In June 1975 both the Art Institute of Chicago and the Fairweather Hardin Gallery presented exhibitions of Bertoia’s work in celebration of the sculptures’ unveiling.)

Bertoia undertook some 50 important public commissions during his career, collaborating with other notable architects such as I.M. Pei, Gordon Bunshaft, and Saarinen. These included a skylit work that encircles the altar in the Saarinen-designed chapel at MIT, and a screen for his General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan.

In addition to the tonals, Bertoia’s dandelions and bush forms have performed well on the block. In March 2013 an 11-foot-tall Dandelion from 1961, commissioned by the Hilton Hotel in Denver, brought $566,500 (est. $150–200,000) at Christie’s New York. Last May another Dandelion, circa 1960, a 7-foot-high gilt stainless-steel-and-brass version bearing a $100,000-to-$150,000 estimate, sold at the same house for $197,000. Since 2007, Sotheby’s New York, which hosted a private selling exhibition of Bertoia’s work last spring, has sold four dandelions in the range of $150,000 to $230,000. “With their radiating dynamism,” says Wright, “the dandelions are hard not to like.” While the artist record for a bush form at auction was set by the 5½-foot-high Bush, circa 1965, which brought $446,500 at Sotheby’s in November 2010, most of these works tend to trade in the neighborhood of $100,000.

Although prices for the sound sculptures, dandelions, and bush forms have steadily trended upward, the same cannot be said for the spray forms, which have delivered a mixed performance on the block. In April 2014, a 5-foot-high Spray, circa 1970, sold for $75,000 on an estimate of $50,000 to $70,000 at Heritage Auctions in Dallas. In March, a smaller Spray from the 1950s sold for an eye-opening $68,750 at Sotheby’s New York on an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000. Yet the sprays often buy in.

“Harry did not sign his works, and there are a lot of knockoffs out there in the marketplace,” says Celia Bertoia. “Given the relative simplicity of the spray’s design, it was fairly easy to replicate.” Benjamin Storck of Los Angeles-based Galerie XX adds that many of the sprays he has seen on the market are just “not right.” If it has an aluminum or stainless steel base, he says, you can be sure it’s a fake. (Buyers looking to acquire a questionable piece would do well to check with the Bertoia Foundation, which appraises and authenticates them.) While Wright acknowledges the preponderance of fakes, he is a bit more circumspect about the uneven market for the sprays. “They tend to be made of lesser materials,” he says, but more important, “when compared with Bertoia’s other works, the sprays are just not as interesting.”

“Whenever we have a massive piece in excellent condition, you can be sure there will be a feeding frenzy,” says Meaghan Roddy of Phillips New York, which has tendered a number of Bertoia sculptures in recent years, including the meltcoated Golden Rods, 1959, which brought $521,000 in December 2013. This past December, the house sold a 3-foot-high Sonambient, circa 1970, estimated at $30,000 to $50,000 for the handsome sum of $134,500.

“There is a refreshing beauty in Bertoia’s work in that it is not derivative of others,” says Jim Elkind. “He is finally getting his due, being recognized as an artist.

A version of this article apprears in the February issue of Art+Auction.

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