Most of my work is created specifically for luxury mountain homes here in Western North Carolina and places like Aspen, Northern California, Montana and the like. However, from time to time, clients will request I create pieces to be featured in more contemporary spaces like condos and lofts. It's always a fun challenge for me. Here's a couple of woven wall hangings using branches and single vessels I've created for these kinds of spaces, including Atlanta, Georgia, Asheville, North Carolina and Lake Keowee, South Carolina.
Creating organic, woven sculpture that looks more like it was found than created is what I love to do! It's a visual stimulant for the viewer and allows my clients to have the beauty of nature right there in their home.
This piece featured above was commissioned by a client from Sea Island, Georgia / Highlands, North Carolina for their home at the coast. Since I use natural materials harvested from my clients property to create these works (if available), I was happy to incorporate a live oak branch from their Sea Island property as the foundation for this piece. The beauty of the bark and lichen really brought the piece alive!
You'll also notice a real birds nest (featured center left) and spanish moss which was also harvested by the client from their property. All of these little additions make the piece feel like home and nested in place.
As with many of my woven collections, I've also added a variety of baskets accented with copper leaves, clay pods and encaustic wax. This beautiful collection will be right at home on a wonderful antique sideboard in the dining room, enjoyed by family and guests for years to come!
For me, it's never been about basketry. My connection with creating organic sculpture that's based in basketry has always been about the materials. Since being a college student at the University of Georgia, I've been enamored with nature and the opportunity to literally walk in the woods, harvest rough vines, bark, branches and then transform them into something beautiful.
Recently, I had a client comment on a piece I created for their mountain home here in Western North Carolina saying "Matt, how do you do this? It's like these pieces you create are literally growing out of the forest... Almost like you found them rather than created them." What better compliment could I ask for?
I love everything about living in the mountains, but especially the relaxing yet elegant outdoor spaces featured in many of the homes for which I am privileged to create art.
What a joy it is to have the pleasure of working with such delightful homeowners! I absolutely love visiting beautiful homes here in the mountains, dreaming with my clients about what I could create for them and then harvesting materials right from their property.
The piece featured here is a 7' wall hanging that graces the fireplace of an outdoor party pavilion on a private estate at the top of Chatooga Club in Cashiers, North Carolina. This is the first of several I am creating for the home and it was such fun! In fact, the owner of the property and I walked around the forest on my initial site visit to find just the right pieces of mountain laurel for this sculpture. I hope you enjoy! PS... keep an eye out for a blog post on the next piece I'm doing for the outdoor fireplace on the porch of the main residence.
I'm proud to announce the publication of my 4th book "Every Basket Begins with a Walk in the Woods: Sculptural Works by Matt Tommey". This beautiful 8.5"x8.5" soft-cover book is a visual journey through my basketry work since 1993 including 84 pages of full-color images and poetic reflections on the creative process. Perfect for lovers of art, basket enthusiasts and artists alike. Available now on Amazon.com or as an autographed edition through my website.
Did you know I have other books as well? Check them out here.
Thanks to the talented eye of interior designer Joan Anderson, I am pleased to have my work featured once again in the exclusive Cashiers, North Carolina Designer Show house.
Joan designed the kitchen and featured one of my signature open weave basket, inspired by Tasmanian aboriginal baskets and Japanese bamboo baskets. It's made from kudzu and poplar bark, dyed with black walnut dye and infused with encaustic wax. Here are a few pictures:
In the art business, relationships are everything! I am deeply appreciative of all the fabulous relationships I've developed over the years with interior designers like Ann Sherrill of Rusticks in Cashiers, NC. Rustics has been the premier interior design firm for luxury mountain homes for over 20 years throughout Highlands, Cashiers and Lake Toxaway. Having the opportunity to work with the Rusticks team means a lot to me and says a lot to my clients; quality, elegance and beauty.
This June, I was invited to have a solo trunk show at Rusticks to share my work with their clients and friends. The day was fabulous and I thought I'd share a few images here! Enjoy!
For years, I've had the privilege to work with the Omni Grove Park Inn's stellar staff to feature my work in and around the hotel. GPI is one of the oldest and most prestigious 5-star hotel resorts in the country and the best part is, it's located just minutes from my studio right here in Asheville, North Carolina.
Recently, I was asked to create a special piece for the hotel's award-winning spa and of course I agreed. Hopefully, it's the first of many more! Here's the picture above. I hope you enjoy!
A Great Space for Art
The fireplace is the centerpiece of every room. With furniture gathered around a hearth. and usually located somewhere as to provide heat to the room, the fireplace is an area where people gather and relax. It is a space where you will spend lots of time and it is where you will do everything from nap alone to entertain large groups.
Matt Tommey is a sculptural basketry artist working in Asheville, North Carolina's River Arts District.