As far as metalworking is concerned, Karen Chekerdjian creates some truly unique pieces. Originally from Beruit, Chekerdjian lived in Milan for a brief period of time where she honed her artistic craft. In 2001, she moved back to Beruit and opened her design studio. While commercial design was still in its infancy in Lebanon, Chekerdjian had other ideas. After practicing cultural design techniques and working with other local artisans, she developed a line of home goods inspired by handmade Lebanese practices.
I love seeing that handmade touch in each of the pieces throughout the studio’s website. The “Simple Tray” is handcrafted in a variety of metals. It is perfectly versatile, maintaining a level of depth and complexity, with the visible sculpting marks across the surface, despite being such a simple form. Other items, like the “Lunar Bowl” and the “Magnolia Bowl” also feature these beautiful markings, turning some extremely functional pieces into a works of art.
Chekerdjian also excels in creating beautiful scoring and perforating work on her pieces. The “Saje: Aleph, Ya, Waw” platter features precise parallel lines scored into the metal. Negative space is used to depict the three classic Arabic vowels in the center of the platter. However, the use of contemporary typography, designed by Raya Khalaf, instead of calligraphy, puts a new spin on this traditionally decorative plate. Some of my favorite things in her studio are her beautiful coasters and placemats. These metal accent pieces are perforated with patterns, making them the perfect addition to any space.
Metalworking is a beautiful medium with a lot of room for artistic expression. I love how Karen Chekerdjian has merged simplicity with handmade techniques to create this line of home goods. Not only do they bring functionality to the space they are in, but they provide an artistic touch that will add depth and the opportunity for conversation about who crafted them.