Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Your New Aesthetic

Your New Aesthetic, a solo show featuring local artist Brian Ferrell, will open at our satellite gallery on October 14th. Perhaps best known for his woodworking, Ferrell is an exceptional metalsmith as well.  Born in southwestern Pennsylvania, Ferrell was strongly influenced by his father, who enlisted his two sons in the construction, renovation and repair of the family’s homes. This early exposure to making led Ferrell to pursue a BFA in jewelry and metals at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (my alma mater!) in 2001.  Following this educational path led him to the University of Massachusettes, Darthmouth where Brian pursued an MFA in jewelry and metals. During his time at UMass, the graduate student began exploring furniture making and the combining of his skills in woodworking and metals. 

Scotch Cups
Returning to Pennsylvania in 2006, he opened his own studio -- Brian Ferrell Designs.  Now fully engaged in the creation of furniture and tableware, his work is exhibited in group and solo exhibits on a national level, was published in “500 Tables” by Lark Books, and can be found in private collections in the US and Europe.  

Water Set
Easy Chair
Ferrell’s furniture plays off subtle contours, daring construction, and hidden details. He incorporates a variety of exotic hardwoods along with native woods such as maple and walnut.  His tabletops are carved underneath to meet spider-like legs and carved upward on top to indicate the presence of legs below. 

Sideboard Table
Cabled Coffee Table
Shadowy gradations of color ingeniously disguise the carved plywood Ferrell uses for strength in sweepingly organic chair and table legs.  This material allows him to stretch expectations for furniture and create adventurous forms such as chairs with only two legs. Steel cables add stability without adding bulk and contribute to precarious-appearing designs. 
Cabled Sideboard

Like his furniture, Ferrell’s shelving reaches beyond the functional. These shelves are elegant contours simultaneously attached to the wall and escaping from it.  They succeed as sculpture, particularly in groupings. 

Shelving System
Shelf Cluster
Ferrell’s custom tableware and hollowware relates most closely to his training as a jeweler, incorporating single or double-walled pewter shapes often emerging from wooden bodies.  Like his furniture designs, these traditional objects surprise with the interaction of square and circular forms, and force one to be aware of the object’s function and use.

Cordial Set
Don't miss this amazing exhibition and be sure to visit The Store at SCC to see more of his work!

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