Multi-hyphenate artist Christopher Gentner – a formally trained metalsmith responsible for re-creating Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House gates – employs his expertise and Chicago-based studio in an exclusive collaboration with Kelly Wearstler to debut Mock, his first collection for her digital Gallery.
Mock represents the amalgam of Gentner’s prowess as a sculptor, proprietary parts, and Wearstler’s aesthetic dexterity. With a structural composition that harkens to post-modern architecture, the three-piece series comprises a cocktail table, side table, and bench rooted in the language of sculpture with rich surface qualities that rival patina.
To produce each piece a steel base is heated to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, which allows it to accept molten pewter at the same temperature, and manipulated using a large torch and metal rods to apply the finish. Gravity moves the liquid pewter throughout the sculpted alloy landscape as it cools to form a mercurial texture. While the shapes remain the same for each piece, the surfaces are unique expressions of the creation process at the moment of its making.
For fine artists like Gentner, design is often an affliction. “It’s almost like these ideas start bubbling up, they pester me and are a bit consuming. It’s not the romantic notion of creativity. It’s a bit compulsive. The more I make the more ideas start coming to me,” says Gentner of his creative process. “When I feel like a piece is really successful, it contains this power, a vibration created by dynamism.”
To learn more about the Mock collection or to purchase, visit kellywearstler.com.
Photography by Mark Durling.