IT ALL ADDS UP

The surprising color combinations of the peeling paint on NYC's subway columns always catch our attention. The topography is unexpectedly painterly, and the years of color choices coalesce in an inspiring way. While each coat is a necessity for maintenance, it's also a color choice by someone in the MTA. We wonder who? Some palettes look straight out of the studio of Jean Prouve. Others look like a Bargello. Or even a taxi cab. 

A 50-year commute

View from the freight elevator going up to see one of our favorite furniture makers. He has enjoyed (endured?) this commute for 50 years!

View from the freight elevator going up to see one of our favorite furniture makers. He has enjoyed (endured?) this commute for 50 years!

This area of his shop shows a well worn workbench, and evidence of year upon year of collecting tools, hardware and the paraphernalia required to make each piece of his handmade furniture. 

This area of his shop shows a well worn workbench, and evidence of year upon year of collecting tools, hardware and the paraphernalia required to make each piece of his handmade furniture. 

Relieved to have made it up the elevator shaft in one piece!

Relieved to have made it up the elevator shaft in one piece!

Someone believes in high order. 

Someone believes in high order. 

Decades of Patina

 Steph's bronze boot on 50 year old patina provides a spark of inspiration 

 Steph's bronze boot on 50 year old patina provides a spark of inspiration 

Over 20 layers of paint and glaze were built up by hand to achieve a subtle refined finish.

Over 20 layers of paint and glaze were built up by hand to achieve a subtle refined finish.

Tweeking all of the finishes that will be used for the buffet.

Tweeking all of the finishes that will be used for the buffet.

Day-Glo pink laser marking a level line for the future location of the buffet on bronze-grey grasscloth. Color combo was perfection.

Day-Glo pink laser marking a level line for the future location of the buffet on bronze-grey grasscloth. Color combo was perfection.

A good Patina is always inspiring. It gives an object or a place the mark of experience and authenticity.

In this case, a workroom floor reveals remnants of paints, dyes and glazes that have built up over decades of work. It was striking to us how great Steph's bronze colored boot looked on the floor, and sparked us to develop a finish composed of over 20 layers of paint and glazes for a custom wall hung buffet. The end result looked something like warm weathered steel, or a 200 year old mirror. Incredibly beautiful. The buffet is destined to hang on a bronze-grey grasscloth wall, just in time for Thanksgiving. We'll share a photo in an upcoming post. 

Casting Call

Steph and Edna at Sculpture House Casting.

Steph and Edna at Sculpture House Casting.

This beautiful rubber mold is just one step in a complex and often tenuous process of "lost wax" bronze casting,  an art that dates back to 500 B.C. Old school to say the least... Steph's shirt just happened to be color coordinated with our studio visit! 

This beautiful rubber mold is just one step in a complex and often tenuous process of "lost wax" bronze casting,  an art that dates back to 500 B.C. Old school to say the least... Steph's shirt just happened to be color coordinated with our studio visit! 

A Spring visit to the casting studio to check the mould for a white bronze plinth that we had commissioned for a project. Old New York all the way, the studio felt like Manhattan in the 80's when there was still an abundance of quirky and specialized businesses in the mix. In the background, you can see the guys working on a hot pink mould destined to become bronze doors with a relief pattern of magnolia leaves. The shop is filled with all kinds of remnant goodies that reflect the specialized artistry of the casting profession.

Rock Star!

Steph selecting a river rock from the Roof Deck to be used as a model for the Living Room coffee table.

Steph selecting a river rock from the Roof Deck to be used as a model for the Living Room coffee table.

Our hero rock!

Our hero rock!

Tada! The finished coffee table at home in the Living Room along with the "mini me" mock up. 

Tada! The finished coffee table at home in the Living Room along with the "mini me" mock up. 

Rock Star view of the Atlantic. Note river rocks surrounding all of the pathways and white marble pool deck. 

Rock Star view of the Atlantic. Note river rocks surrounding all of the pathways and white marble pool deck. 

We balanced the strong linear architecture of this home in Montauk with some soft and organic forms in the interior. The Roof Deck is bordered by several tons of black river rock. We thought the smooth and soft shapes of the stones would make a great form for a coffee table, and selected a few examples. Our clients loved the idea and chose a stone with a two-tier topography. We then had a small mock-up made, which we super-sized and then lacquered in a translucent taupe to become a generous and stylish coffee table for a large room with a view.