Friday, October 12, 2007

The Artful Home: Stephen Day

I first saw Stephen Day's designs when I wandered into his workshop in the old Mother's Cookies Factory in Oakland during the last East Bay Open Studios. Being the lighting geek that I am, I was immediately drawn to his luminous creations.

The Detroit-bred, Oakland-based sculptor and furniture and industrial designer's "illuminated wall sculptures" -- constructed from concrete, wood, metal, acrylic, and even medical x-rays -- mix beauty and grit, delicacy and indestructibility, flowing form and strict geometry.

In his own words, Day's aesthetic is shaped by the design landscape from which he comes: "Herman Miller and General Motors, Art Deco and industrial modernism, suburban sprawl and urban decay." He's "passionate about modernism and the innovative application of materials, the magic of electricity, and the possibilities of light as a sculptural element."

Prices for Day's available work are not for the faint of heart (they start at about $1,000), but each piece is crafted by hand and completely one-of-a-kind.

A collection of Day's recent work (including "Concrete Study," left, and "Containers," right) is being exhibited as part of the "Brick & Mortar" sculptural abstracts show at Oakland's ProArts Gallery through November 4.

To see more of Day's designs (he's created some truly striking furniture as well), check out his website.

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