Custom Piece for Michael & Salma

I recently wrapped up a commission piece for a wonderful couple, Michael and Salma. They were so much fun to work with, and I’m really happy with how the piece turned out!

Michael Wornick in front of two Orozco pieces from his collection.

I met Michael at Renegade Craft Fair in April — he came by my booth and struck up a conversation. We chatted about art and design. He's an art collector who owns a number of sketches by Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco. He and his partner had just bought a beautiful home in Sonoma, California, and they were looking for something bold (and fairly heat-resistant) to hang over their fireplace. 

During our conversation about what kinds of imagery he’s drawn to, he mentioned that he loved the kinds of patterns found in Islamic art. He also said that he liked my aesthetic, and didn’t want to give me too many restrictions or guidelines — he wanted to see what I’d come up with (#dreamclient).

We explored a couple different design directions together. The clear favorite was a pattern of tessellating diamonds. The inspiration for this design was a photo I’d found of a carved stone screen from a temple in Jaipur called Chandra Mahal. (I only later figured out that I had actually visited that very temple a few years ago with my family!) 

Below are some process photos: the reference image I started with, some sketches in my notebook, a CAD drawing, the lasercut steel parts, an array of parts in various stages of sanding, staining, and waxing, and finally, the assembly. 

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