You never know who you're going to meet at the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands here in Asheville, NC. Our July show is always a fantastic opportunity to meet new and existing clients, show my newest work and talk about doing special, one-of-a-kind pieces for clients. That's how this project began.
After seeing one of my wall hangings at the Guild Fair, this couple - recently retired from Connecticut with a new home here and in West Palm Beach, Florida - asked me to come over and talk about creating a special piece for their outdoor fireplace. While there, I was invited downstairs to see an incredibly beautiful rock fireplace created in the style of the famous Grove Park Inn stonework. By the time our time together ended, I was asked to create 2 special pieces for their home, one for the outdoor fireplace and one for the downstairs fireplace
As with all my wall hangings, I begin by choosing just the right branches from which to sketch a design. With this project I created one that featured a series of copper botanicals for the outdoor porch and an asymmetrical design for the downstairs fireplace that rested on two rocks and featured two real bird nests. My clients approved the designs and I began work.
After several weeks of weaving, not to mention all the copper work and finishing, the pieces were completed. This Saturday, I delivered them to my clients and installed them in their forever homes. I just love seeing my work in the place that it was made for! There's nothing like it and experiencing the joy my clients feel when they see their new piece installed.
One last note... In this home, as with many of my clients, after the pieces were installed it becomes really apparent that focused, dedicated lighting is needed to accentuate the piece. That was the case here as well and so the electrician will be out soon to install some spotlights. Lighting is a small investment but makes a big impact!
Discover more about how I can create a special piece or collection for your home.
See more fireplace sculptures here!
Matt Tommey is a sculptural basketry artist working in Asheville, North Carolina's River Arts District.