One thing I’ve been trying to implement in to my own routine is to dabble in various disciplines, expressing myself in as many ways as possible. I don’t think any creative should feel penned in, plus, the amount of knowledge and skills you gain from all these different mediums is quite fantastic. Often you hear of the “design greats” using this exact tactic, finding any way to assert themselves and use these as a springboard for future projects, such as sculpture or painting. Today I’ve picked a designer who’s very similar in her approach, Swedish artist Caroline Schlyter.
As a sculpture student at the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm, Caroline was adept at forming carefully constructed works, challenging aesthetic principles and the concept of form. In 1988 she was given an assignment to create a three dimensional letter of the alphabet, at that point an idea was born which engaged her for several years and that grew into an extended project. She started with the letter “h”, and sketched out forms in solid wood, turning and twisting ribbons of veneer and hammered plate metal. Through her exploits in sculpture she wondered if people could sit on the letter “h”, as the form resembled previous archetypes of seating and furniture.
After being turned down by various furniture manufacturers, saying it would not be possible to produce such an advanced form in laminated wood, Caroline took it upon herself to mould one with the help of a carpenter. The first prototype was made and since then this specific piece has been turned in to a selection of other models following a similar pattern, as well as being exhibited at London’s Design Museum and at the Louvre in Paris. Personally, I think Caroline’s background as a classically educated fine artist and a sculptor has really helped, it’s obvious that she has a great eye for rhythm and movement in static objects. With Caroline’s permission I’ve been able to offer a mixture of imagery here for you to admire, not just furniture but also a rounded overview of the drawing and sculpture that she’s made throughout her career. I personally think this is a much better way of presenting the work, as it makes reference to the unique concepts and ideas of the maker. Enjoy!