Artisan and renowned home ware designer Michael Aram
started his journey to creating his highly successful collection after becoming inspired by the craftsmen in India during a trip there in the late 1980's. Later he set up his workshop there where he creates handmade products and develops designs oftentimes based on his love of nature.
Here, Aram shares more about that first trip he took to India, some of his ideas behind the pieces he creates and what he has in store for upcoming collections.
What are your goals when creating pieces that are both highly artistic yet functional?
I want to make pieces which spark conversation and enliven the environment when in use or on display. I want to celebrate the daily rituals of meals around the table, or the simple things we do around our house by designing objects which add richness and memory to the experience. I want to make pieces that reverberate with the immediacy and energy of the handmade process and which make us pause and smile when we use them.
You have used designs that mimic twigs, flowers and coral in your past collections. What items in nature are inspiring you now?
I am always looking at nature for inspiration. I'm currently working on a collection that celebrates the imperfections and transience found in nature. It is called "Last Leaves" and is inspired by a tattered and spotted leaf that I found in front of my store in late autumn. It is an enameled metal collection, so I have the ability to use color to interpret the unexpected nature of the last leaves of the season.
What inspired you most about the Indian culture and their artistry?
When I first went to New Delhi, I discovered that there were craftsmen in the old city working on the roadside making the most unbelievably basic things in the most unbelievable way. Artisans were hammering out sheets of brass to make water buckets and bashing hot iron to make shovels; it felt like the middle ages. When I understood that their craft was handed down through generations and that what they were making was considered "second rate" to the plastic western alternatives, I felt inspired to work with them to develop and sustain their craft traditions.
In your opinion, what are some key registry pieces every home should have?
Every home should have functional and beautiful pieces which can be left outside of the cupboards when not in use. Entertaining is central to a home's warmth, so having serving pieces that make home entertaining more beautiful and give your guests a sense of your personality are must haves.
What is your favorite piece that you have created for your collection?
One of my absolute favorite pieces happens to also be 10 years old, and our all time best seller: The hand hammered Olive Branch Nut Dish.
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