(formal) artist statement

I design my furniture to be relatively spare, yet elegant and useful. My design process involves a great deal of subtraction–paring away excess mass or unnecessary elements that don’t complement or serve the main thrust, dramatic gesture or function of the piece. The resulting structures are angular, some rectilinear, some with gentle curves. I use traditional hand tools in combination with modern machinery to shape and join components precisely, focusing on creating interesting compositions of negative and positive space, harmonious lines and a sense of lightness. Where appropriate, I join pieces using exposed tenons, pegs and splines to lend selective visual interest and express the piece’s structure. I often add color and utilize certain combinations of woods within a piece, carefully selecting and using the most beautiful hardwoods available.

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(more informal thoughts on:)
design philosophy

I like clean, modern lines and employ a “less is more” approach… yet I want to see some evidence of the hand– a feature that speaks to the structure and making of the piece. That, combined with a distinctive stance or gesture, I feel, gives the piece an individual identity and keeps it from appearing  sterile or impersonal like some large- scale production, entirely machine-made designs can.

Imagining the personality of each piece and picturing it in the context of a living space help me refine the details I include in my designs. I work to design pieces that can cohabitate… that can complement and harmonize with the architectural features and artistic details of any given home… that can serve as the perfect backdrop, but can also occasionally step into the limelight. My ideal is an understated elegance–subtle and expressive– though when a space can handle it, I also enjoy creating the bigger personality piece. It’s all about context.

The commissioned work I do provides a continual influence on my speculative furniture pieces, and vise versa. Designing for particular environments and clients forces me to be sensitive to the personality of the pieces I create in relation to the setting they will inhabit. The resulting unique designs, in turn, inform my subsequent work and keep me continually experimenting with new ideas.

(To learn more about the process of having me create for you a unique, one of a kind piece, please visit commission process.)

© Eben Blaney – Fine Contemporary Furniture
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207.882.4208 | eben@ebenblaney.com