Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Furniture As Art

I took a little break from "blog land" this past week, now I'm back!! I thank all of you who have checked in during my absence and hope you will continue stop by!! I would love to hear comments from you!!

I have always been fascinated with furniture design. The Mid Century Modern period, from about 1933 - 1965, is synonymous with clean simplicity, geometry, visual lightness and experimentation with new materials such as metal, plywood and plastics. It was an exciting time in design with a lot of artists, craftsmen and architects experimenting with shape, form, function and materials redefining how we look at and feel about everyday objects.

A lot of furniture that came out of this period became instant classics, still highly recognizable and sought after today. Some of the more popular designs came from designers such as, Saarinen, Bertoia, Eames, Mies van der Rohe and Breuer. Their designs have a simplicity and timelessness that makes them still relevant in today's design world. You see their furniture used by many designers today mixed in with new pieces, but the Mid Century items appear as functional art. The "conversation piece" in the room that is both useful and beautiful.

I came across the work of a not as well known artist of this period, Gerald Summers. He designed The Bent Plywood Chair pictured below. Charles and Ray Eames are better known for their experimentation with bent plywood, during this period, creating beautiful furniture designs. The design of Summer's chair is breathtaking; it's clean curved lines and simple structure all created out of one piece of plywood, show that he was a true master of his craft. Summers was a carpenter that formed a furniture company in the 1930's called, Makers of Simple Furniture. The bent plywood chair was created in the 1930's and is his most recognizable piece. He is also known for his experimentation with Airplane Plywood, which is a high strength plywood made from mahogany and/or birch and uses adhesives with increased resistance to heat and humidity. So you know that the chair is not only beautiful but strong as well !! I would love to have this piece in my home, but found out that one just sold at Christie's for a cool $14,253 !!

I am very grateful for all the great artists and designers, of the past and present, that have created such works that continue to inspire and amaze. I hope to discover and share other lesser known gems, such as Summers, through my journey in design. Because to me, that is a great luxury!!!

Bent Plywood Chair by Gerald Summers. All chair photos from PeterPetrou.com

The gracefull curve and finish of Louboutin's Prorata pump in tortoise shell (from my collection),
reminds me of lines of the bent plywood chair. Fashion and interior design united!!!

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