Grant Wilkinson and Teresa Rivera are the duo behind furnishings studio Wilkinson & Rivera. Each drawn to woodworking, Rivera realized by helping a Brooklyn cabinetmaker and Wilkinson approached the craft at Bellerby & Co. Globemakers in London (‘largely as a result of I knew [wood] was Teresa’s factor and I used to be attempting to impress her’, he explains).
Having studied at Tyler Faculty of Artwork in Philadelphia and London’s Camberwell School of Arts respectively, they opened their workshop and collaborative observe in 2020 after additional experiences in set design and furnishings sourcing, and developed a novel model knowledgeable by basic furnishings with a twist.
Wilkinson & Rivera’s furnishings items provide a up to date, barely surrealist twist on furnishings classics: take the ‘Windsor’, a bit that faithfully reproduces the types of the Sixteenth-century chair with the addition of a serpentine silhouette. Equally, ‘La Silla’ is impressed by the basic Queen Anne chair, with the identical wiggly motif, and this strategy is taken to the best degree with the ‘Welsh Stick Chairs’; that includes hand-carved twists and a pure black end achieved by way of scorching the wooden.
Most just lately, the duo began a collaboration with London furnishings emporium SCP, creating the ‘Of Nature’ assortment (unveiled at London Design Pageant 2022).Impressed by Verb Listing, an art work from 1967 by the novel American sculptor Richard Serra, the gathering options 4 chair designs, nodding to Serra’s handwritten compendium of what he known as ‘actions to narrate to oneself, materials, place, and course of’). The 4 designs (every connecting the shape to an motion and thus known as ‘Puffed’, ‘Wilted’, ‘Whipped’, and ‘Rippled’) are characterised by the studio’s authentic tackle basic kinds, leading to a mixture of nostalgia, technical experimentation and natural kinds.
‘We just like the sense of phantasm our work brings – our response to classical hardwood furnishings tends in direction of the surreal,’ says Wilkinson. To create their items, they use a mixture of steam-bending, carving and weaving. ‘We take a look at the method and the way it evokes motion,’ continues Rivera. ‘By beginning with motion or motion, we uncover fascinating kinds to research. We preserve distorting them till we discover one thing suitably bizarre and pleasing.’
Though the pair now hope to department out into new supplies (resembling stone and steel, overlapped with woodworking), wooden maintains a particular place for the studio: ‘You might dedicate your whole life to understanding wooden and solely skim the floor,’ explains Wilkinson. ‘The timber we work with has come from bushes a lot older than us – there’s a significance to utilizing it that retains you sincere.’
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