A few months ago I came across some walnut I couldn't resist making into table tops, so I took the opportunity to create a set of two end tables and a coffee table and challenged myself to come up with something completely unique to the rest of my work. One of the artists who inspires my work is American painter Frank Stella. Known as one of the fathers of minimalism, Stella's early work focused on repetitive patterns of thin white lines, created by painting thick bands of black paint on bare white canvas.
I love the simplicity and honesty of Stella's work. It is it's own object, and doesn't need to reference anything outside of its self to stand up. And these tables were meant to do the same. I started by drawing lines and planes, wanting to create an interesting relationship between the very solid, weighty presence of the walnut and thin white lines. Sitting on the couch one night, April reached over, grabbed my sketch book from me and drew the Stella Coffee Table. It was perfect. I actually finished the coffee and end tables before she caught onto the fact that I had started on them in my spare time, (sometimes I'm a bit obsessive).
The end result was a set that seems to hover over the ground it occupies. The steel and wood take turns forming the outlines of precise rectangles proportioned for use in a modern living space. We included the set in Circa + NEU, a show we participated in last month in Minneapolis, and now begins the process of finding the pieces a good home. We're not sure if the Stella set is going to be replicated - sometimes it's more fun to make something once and move on. Regardless, this project was a great challenge and we're glad to add it to our portfolio, and soon someone's home.