Los Angeles-Based Sculptor and Artist Elyse Graham On This Week's Real Artists To Watch

(Photo : Design & Trend - Meg Busacca | Studio Portrait: Maria Schriber / Drip Series: Peter Bohler )

The curious, always-experimenting artist Elyse Graham is highlighted on this week's Real Artists to Watch.

An avid inquisitor of our ultimate source for inspiration — Mother Earth — Graham has found her design niche in reinterpreting the way we appreciate nature's elements.

The Los Angeles-based artist is quickly finding her mark in the saturated, highly creative and spirited realm of design — through her use of unique materials and methodologies that transform her surprising sculptures.

(Photo : Courtesy of Elyse Graham - Drip Series - Cake Stand / Peter Bohler)



Her pieces are individually handmade in her studio, resulting in one-of-a-kind works of art that are each special and exclusive for her clients.

Graham is mastering a new form in developing decorative vases, geodes, small-scale jewelry and accessories, with the intent of leading to larger tabletop pieces and furniture.

The goal is not to create individual artistic objects to present in a gallery space, but to actually design works that are to be experienced in the homes of everyday people.


(Photo : Courtesy of Elyse Graham - Drip Series - Design Process / Photo: Peter Bohler)


Her latest Drip Series involves a unique design process in which she swirls plaster around inflated balloons to create the mold for her vases. She then drips resin around the opening of each object, resulting in the appearance of a liquid splash, frozen in time. Graham has used this same approach when designing mirrors, trays and fine bracelets. 

Read the full interview as Graham talks of her love for interesting color combinations and her latest travels that lead to the creation of the Drip series. 


(Photo : Courtesy of Elyse Graham - Drip Series - Vases / Peter Bohler)


MB: How would you define Elyse Graham? 

EG: The Elyse Graham studio is a place where unusual materials and experimental processes are implemented to create a melding of art and object. We try to let go of labels and design and make with a sense of curiosity, wonder and joy. 

MB: Could you describe your design aesthetic with us? 

EG: My aesthetic is certainly colorful, playful and experimental. Finding new ways to use materials fascinates me, and I love exploring strange and sometimes weird color combinations. 


(Photo : Courtesy of Elyse Graham - Geode / Peter Bohler)


MB: What was the initial sign that propelled you to begin designing and getting your work out into the world?

EG: Whether designing jewelry, making art or housewares, I am always motivated to create something I've never seen before. Testing the limits of what I think is possible excites me, and I strive to take the imaginary and transform it into reality.

MB: Where do you seek inspiration for your brand?

EG: Geology has influenced a lot of my resin pieces. I love the idea of pushing something that is already naturally awe-inspiring a little bit further, into the imaginary, otherworldly realm. The inspiration for the Drip Series came from exploring stalacite and stalagmite formations in the caves of Tennessee. 


(Photo : Courtesy of Elyse Graham - Drip Series / Peter Bohler)


MB: What is your design process like? 

EG: I design by making and experimenting rather than by traditional drawing. I find that my work is most successful when I let go a bit and let my materials take the lead. This process of experimentation, although often rife with failures, leads to my most interesting pieces. 

MB: What can we expect from Elyse Graham in the future? Lets say 2-5 years...

EG: My studio is just getting started, so there are so many exciting things on the horizon! Personally, I always look forward to finding new materials and developing new ways to work with them. More specifically, we are planning on pushing the scale of our decorative pieces to include furniture as well as lighting. 


(Photo : Courtesy of Elyse Graham - Drip Series Vases / Peter Bohler)



MB: What is something you would want people to know about you and your work that maybe they do not know yet? What would you be willing to share with us...

EG: Every piece in the collection is handmade in our Los Angeles studio. Our Drip Vases are all hand-cast of unique balloon shapes. Although the pieces are multiples, this process makes each one unique. I love the intimacy of that connection — making pieces by hand for people to enjoy in their homes. 

To purchase Elyse Graham's products, shop her website here

© 2015 Design & Trend All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


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