I normally stick to fashion and beauty events when I decide to get a sitter and attend evening events these days. However, when I was afforded the chance to meet artist Michael Aram for the release of his New Molten collection last week I literally jumped at the opportunity. If you have ever been married or invited to a wedding, you must know who he is! Who hasn’t asked for at least one of his amazing decorative metal designs on their registry? Even my husband knows who he is. In fact, once you have seen one of his distinct pieces of work, you can easily identify his aesthetic. We own quite a few pieces from Aram’s various collections, a few of which are on display in our home. Won our registry hat I love about his designs is that they are feminine enough for me to love them and masculine enough for my husband to enjoy them. The perfect balance and some of the few items we actually agreed on!
As soon as I walked into his New York flagship store, I was warmly greeted by Aram’s CEO who then promptly introduced me to the artist. What I found so surprising is that they were almost more thrilled I owned so many pieces than I was to meet him! They were both so warm and engaging. A bit about Aram…he is an American born artist who works primarily in metal. After studying fine art and living as an artist in New York in the late 1980’s, Aram took what would later be a life-altering trip to India where he discovered rich metalworking traditions. Inspired to work with craftsmen whose skills he felt were greatly untapped, Aram turned his creative energies towards craft based design, setting up a home and workshop in New Delhi. He now spends more time in New York City as he has a family here.
Lyrical and often witty, his work encompasses a wide range of media and reveals a rich and variant source of inspiration – nature, mythology, narrative storytelling, and purified form. Aram’s work is also a celebration of craft and age-old handworking traditions. It is the enduring fusion of these ideals – originality, storyline and craftsmanship -that has become the hallmark of this gifted artist.
Aram’s works range from tableware to furniture, which are sold in galleries and specialty stores worldwide. This broad diversity embodies Aram’s versatility as an artist who is comfortable working on private commissions, one of a kind piece for gallery shows, or pieces that are affordable to a wider audience.
Bridging the gap between the artist and artisan is a hallmark of Michael Aram’s work. Whether in his narrative and figurative “signature” collection, or in his more contemporary ‘studio’ line, each piece is entirely handmade with no two examples ever exactly the same. The handmade quality of the work allows it to shift beautifully between the realm of fine and decorative art. This enduring melange of quality and originality sits comfortably at home in contemporary as well as in more classical interiors.
I was invited to the event to see The New Molten collection, so a bit about that. The collection is created using time honored techniques, resulting in elegant pieces that are the ideal balance of art and functionality. Each piece is made of stainless steel for everyday functionality. When Michael told me to wash my stainless steel Michael Aram pieces in the dishwasher, I recoiled in horror! I can’t even imagine ever placing one of them in the the dishwasher. But he assured me that is was not only safe, but that he wants his pieces to be used, not just displayed.
Every bead on every piece of The New Molten collection is an individual weld that has been carefully dropped in place by a very skilled artisan. The beading changes subtly based on the individual style of the artisan that made it, turning each object into a unique work of art. No two beads are exactly alike which adds to the charm.
Production starts with a flat sheet of stainless steel cut into a circle (size determined by size of bowl). The sheet is pressed and then the unwanted edges are trimmed away. Then bowl is then polished and the beads are individually welded along the edge of the bowl. Next the bowl is hammered to form the desired shape. The bowl and base are then joined together and the piece is then given the final polish.
June is Molten Month. During the month of June receive a free gift with purchase (Mini Molten Frame) on purchases of $150+. Valid at MichaelAram.com and in-store.
– Lauren Dimet Waters
Photos: Second City Style & Michael Aram