06 Apr Casting Cultural Color Stories with Elyse Graham
Los Angeles based sculptor, Elyse Graham, stopped by to show us her newest globally inspired vases from the Black Magic Collection. Each handmade piece is unique in color, shape and size. The color stories and layering techniques utilized in these pieces fascinate us. Take a look!
Tell us about the concept behind the Black Magic Collection!
The Black Magic Collection is inspired by the concept of revealing that which has been hidden from sight, but remains ever-present. Gazing toward the past to cultures and civilizations at the edge of our awareness, we sought out places where magic and ritual are ingrained in all aspects of life. We chose to name our pieces for these places where we found our inspiration for both pattern and palette.
Tell us more about your design process. What materials do you use?
The Black Magic Collection is made entirely from cast resin. We design our processes for each collection specifically to push the limits of our materials and to push them past their intended uses. For this collection, we pour layers of resin into a mold, building up the hollow vase form from the outside in. Once the resin has reached a desired thickness, we remove it from the mold and then carve and sand the piece into a unique shape, revealing patterns and hidden layers of colored resin.
Each piece in the Black Magic Collection is named for a culture or civilization where magic and ritual are ingrained in all aspects of life. How were you able to translate this concept through color?
The palette we chose for each piece references the place the vase is named after. We took our color inspiration both from the landscape of the region as well as from the energy of the culture.
What is your favorite piece? Why?
I seem to find a new favorite each time I look at the collection. If forced to choose, I think my favorite overall is the Tasmania Vase. This piece was meant to be a test—we were experimenting with several different techniques at the time and threw them all at this one piece. I wasn’t expecting to ever show this vase, but once we cut and sanded it, all of the colors and patterns seemed to find a harmony in the discord. The pieces are intentionally designed to surprise, but this one was particularly exciting.
As we continue to experiment and push our materials and processes, I’m eagerly looking forward to making larger scale work, specifically some furniture pieces. I can’t be more specific at the moment, but we have some big things on the way!