When you were a kid did you love to play inside one of those extra large boxes in which appliances and furniture were sometimes delivered? I know my grandkidz scoff them up the minute they hit the floor. So can you now imagine making fine furnishings out of corrugated cardboard? Not to be corny, but it sounds a bit flimsy and rather plebeian. Well wait until you see the furniture made by BRIAN GLADWELL…you will flip your cookies, or cardboard, as the case may be!
Have I already aroused your curiosity? I saw pictures of his work in Interior Design magazine and just had to find out more about this highly creative artist. He hails from Saskatchewan, Canada, and his work is part furniture and part sculpture. When I wrote him telling him I wanted to feature him on DEZINLICIOUS he gave me this explanation for his fascination with integrating corrugated cardboard into his pieces: “I’ve been working occasionally in corrugated cardboard since 1986, exploring it’s potential for new expressions in furniture. It’s a fascinating material, capable of rich surfaces and visual textures and surprisingly strong.”
Here is a close up pix of the console at the beginning of this post…pretty cool, no? I haven’t the foggiest how he manages to manipulate the cardboard into such interesting forms. I think you would have to look twice…or thrice… to realize what material the furniture is composed out of. GLADWELL is titillated by what he calls “the ambiguity” of corrugated cardboard. Making something elegant out of something ordinary is what fires him up. Forget that old adage about a sow’s ear and the silk purse, because GLADWELL has certainly shown it to be a fallacy.
In this console by GLADWELL you can see how meticulously he executes his work. The combination of wood and paper is the ultimate yin and yang of furniture construction. For the record, his pieces are obviously also enhanced with dyes and shellac to give them a polished appearance, but these do not hide the basic nature of the corrugated cardboard, an important essence to the designs.
How DEZIGNLICIOUS is this mirror/console? Difficult to imagine it has been sculpted out of cardboard! His work is exceptional and he gets a big
MUST GO/HOT TIP: If you live near Philadelphia, ‘hop on the bus, Gus’ and go see his work at the WEXLER GALLERY. I am sure it is even more beautiful in person!
CIAO, CIAO ‘TIL NEXT TIME!