Jonathon Litchfield recently contacted me about the work they are doing over at STURDY, I am happy he did. I don’t think I have ever given much thought to resin being a material used in a modern setting. I guess I was wrong as STURDY has some beautiful pieces, that at first glance I didn’t think they were resin. The transparency mixed with organic free flowing shapes and colors really give life to these pieces. At the same time these attributes are contained in well proportion geometric shapes, as if framing these ethereal patterns.
Q: Who is?
STURDY is makes sculptural home furnishings using resin, brass, steel and wood. Everything is made to order and handmade. Our studio is zero-waste using locally sourced materials and a team of artisans who have been working with us for decades. In every way we are the opposite of “mass-produced”.
Q: What is your background?
STURDY was founded by sculptor Martha Sturdy in 1978. Her yen to create large pieces could not yet be fulfilled and so she began working in a scale accessible to her — creating uncommonly large, wearable maquettes.
Martha went on to gain an international reputation as a leader in functional art and design. Her bold, iconic wearable sculpture was featured in ELLE, Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar. As Martha’s creativity evolved her collection developed to a series of sculptural home furnishings using resin, steel, brass and west coast woods.
The STURDY studio has since expanded to provide sophisticated, enduring custom furniture and fixtures for architects and designers, upscale retail and hospitality clients including, Louis Vuitton, Saks, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Four Seasons, and Fairmont.
Q: What inspires you and influences your design choices?
Our designer is Martha Sturdy. Born and raised in British Columbia, Martha has always been inspired and guided by the elements. Materials like mineral and salvaged Cedar find expression in her work — offering a reflection of a landscape that is itself bold, clean and strong.
Martha has always been enthralled with the scale of nature on the West Coast. Never delicate, but always pared down, her work finds a balance in its weightiness and a resolve in its proportion.
Q: What is your preferred material to work with, are there any materials that you would like to incorporate into future designs?
Our primary material is resin – We love that it will endure abuse like stone, has all of the comfort of wood, and carries colour and light like glass. We work with brass because of the warmth and old-world flavour that it lends to cleaner forms. We love steel because it is rugged, strong, and unapologeticly masculine. All of the qualities we are drawn to in our materials are the things we are inspired by in nature.
At the moment we are working a lot with charred, reclaimed cedar. We don’t plain or saw it but rather work with the natural undulating shape of the tree. We like to respect the artful form that nature presents and showcase that in our designs. The curves and grain of the wood are sensual and beautiful and we don’t want to interrupt that.
Q: What trends are you seeing in designs for the home, good and bad?
Brass has long been a favourite at STURDY and it’s great to see it showing up more and more in residential and commercial spaces.
There also seems to be a welcomed shift from the cold, stark lines of mass-produced modernism, to warm, discerning environments that honour materials and craftsmanship. We love the newfound appreciation of character, but we’re cautious of the pendulum swing, because a cluttered eclectic space can be just as extreme as a razor-sharp, glossy interior. At STURDY, nothing compares to the luxury of handmade, tailored design, but we believe that quality and character need space to breathe.
Q: My favorite______is________
My favorite place is in nature.