Last week I featured some recent work from John Eric Byers and was rather taken buy these beautiful geometric shapes “skinned” with amazing texture and color. I took a deeper look at his work and asked if he would answer some brief questions for us.
Q: Who is?
I am an artist, designer and furniture maker living and working in the Finger Lakes region in New York. My primary focus is on my hand-built personal studio work which most recently has been described as ” minimalist form meets maximal surfacing”. My personal work is a mix of functional and non-fuctional pieces. To date, I have exhibited my work in 25 solo exhibitions and over 100 group exhibitions. I will be showing a new collection of pieces next year in NYC. In addition to my studio work, I get my design fix with my limited production JEB JONES furniture collection and my collaboration with the industrial product designer Leslie Roeder at Goodjoy Design.
Q: What is your background?
Grandpa was a carpenter and I first worked in a furniture shop at age 16. After college and another furniture shop, I received two years of formal training with Wendell Castle at his workshop. Immediately after, I began exhibiting my work in galleries and received my first New York Foundation of the Arts Award. That helped me to open a studio in Philadelphia and then later in Portland, Oregon. Several years ago I returned to my roots in the rolling hills of the Finger Lakes where I enjoy a 30′ commute to my private studio.
Q: What inspires you and influences your design choices?
The circle, square, cylinder, sphere, ellipse and rectangle.
Q: What is your preferred material to work with? Are there any materials that you would like to incorporate into future designs?
The staples are domestic hardwoods and casein milk paints. Newest works will include brass, stone and gold leaf.
Q: What trends are you seeing in furniture design, good and bad?
I am so preoccupied with my own design vocabulary that I really don’t pay attention to what the trends are.
Q: My favorite______is________
My favorite bike is my Triumph Bonneville T100