… In furniture, that is, thanks to Maryland metalsmith Chris Shea. His nature-inspired designs, which reference wasps, bats and insect legs in a steam-punk, gothic-industrial kinda way, are on display through April 2 at the Strathmore.
My favorite piece is the Wasp Waist table, which Chris created with fellow Marylander Sarah Nikitopoulos, a hugely talented ceramicist.
The studded “waist” totally reminds me of those unforgiving corsets of Victorian times (do a Google image search for “wasp waist” and you’ll now what I mean), and the legs reference the actual creature.
Sarah created 300 beveled, honeycomb-like ceramic disks for the top, meanwhile:
“The design of the tabletop reflects many patterns found in nature that both Chris and I draw inspiration from in our work — crystal structures, compound eyes, and the patterns on insect shells, to name just a few,” Sarah writes in her description of the project.
I first found out about Chris while I was documenting a Flemish-revival row house renovation on Embassy Row by Barnes Vanze Architects, for whom I do some marketing and social media. Chris’ metalwork adorns the new front door and side lights:
His architectural work is enchanting, as you can see in this railing at a home in Potomac:
And his furniture, as above, would fit right in on a Harry Potter set:
I had not known about Sarah until I saw the announcement about her collaboration with Chris, and I’m newly obsessed with the organic lines and soft colors of her ceramic art and tabletop designs:
Oh, man. These designs are so dreamy! And along with Chris’ metalwork, the combination of their talents takes it to a new level. Definitely get over to the Strathmore in Rockville to check them out.