New Works: 7 Local Contemporary Product Designers, Santa Fe, NM

Santa Fe product designers

Opening Reception Friday September 29th, 2017- Through October 28th

5 PM to 8 PM
@ Molecule Design
1226 Flagman Way
Santa Fe, NM 

As part of the Art Meets Design series, Molecule supports the work of local talented artists and product-designers. This time, Molecule brings together a group of strong creators who work in a functional or decorative approach for residential and commercial applications. Some have been artists, and architects, or deliberately merge a fine arts sensibility within a utilitarian focus.

. Banyan Fierer – Sculptural Lighting, Santa Fe, NM
. Justin Crowe – Ceramics, Santa Fe, NM
. David Hamlin – Felt Wall Panels, Albuquerque, NM
. Brian Arthur – Lichen Modules, Santa Fe, NM
. Mat Long – Wood/Metal Furniture, Santa Fe, NM
. Kristin Bonkemeyer – Metal Furniture and Raku Pots, Marfa, Texas – Santa Fe, NM
. Dick Podmore – Powder Coated Metal Chairs, Santa Fe, NM

Justin Crowe, founder and CEO of Chronicle Cremation Designs helps fold the memory of passed loved ones into daily life. His unique service was launched in October 2016, and transforms the ashes of loved ones into remarkable ceramic design objects for the home. Chronicle offers a selection of memorial objects including cremation urns, cremation jewelry, coffee mugs, luminaries, and more.

Inspired by the death of his grandfather, Crowe created a conceptual dinnerware series called Nourish. The collection of functional dishes was glazed with the remains of 200 people and was intended to help normalize the idea of mortality by asking the users to confront the concept in a daily-use design object. To make the series, Crowe purchased hundreds of human bones on the internet, ground them into a powder and added them into a specially developed glaze recipe. The project concluded a Santa Fe-based dinner party where guests dined using the ash-glazed plates, bowls, and cups.

Following the launch of the Nourish series Crowe began to receive custom orders from individuals who wanted to memorialize their loved ones and pets with decorative ceramic design for their home. In response, Crowe lunched the memorialization company called Chronicle Cremation Designs offering a selection of ceramic pieces coated with custom glazes made from cremated remains provided by his clients. His Lifeware product line has received international attention including The Guardian, The Today Show, The Times London, New York Magazine, and NPR.

“Creating objects that tell stories is my passion. The inspiration for Chronicle came following a death which lead to a period of personal growth. Instead of observing an urn or photograph on a shelf, I wanted a way to interact with memories on a daily basis. Our process was born out of a desire to keep those who’ve lived before us remembered in daily life.” Justin Crowe

David Hamlin Felt Panel
David Hamlin’s Felt Panel

David Hamlin of Submaterial produces thoughtful and precisely hand-crafted design accessories for modern interior environments. From the smallest residential panel to the largest commercial installation, the designs are pared down to essential elements of material, pattern and function. In their simplicity and beauty Submaterial works explore the territory between objects of art and objects of design. At their New Mexico-based studio natural and sustainable materials such as wool felt, cork and leather are fashioned by hand into beautifully surfaced wallcoverings and panels.

Since the studio launched in 2006 Submaterial has been focused on creating unique wallcoverings, acoustic surfaces, screens and décor panels for architects and interior designers. “Along the way, our products have collected quite a following across the full range of the design industry and a few notable awards. We’re grateful to have been featured in so many excellent design publications such as Elle Decor, Metropolis, Architectural Record, Interior Design, Azure and The New York Times.”

Santa Fe Product Designers
Banyan Fierer with one of his knotted pieces

Banyan Fierer from Bao Modern comes into art making from a career in design and architecture. Banyan lived off the grid in various intentional communities for eight years learning farming, teaching yoga and meditation and learning the art of homeopathy and holistic medicine. With this exploration came a discovery that alchemists have long pondered: the art of transformation. “My interest lies in the weaving of disparate threads into integrated form.  In much of my work, you will see these loose threads, sometimes dangerous and snagging, sunken, woven or knitted together.  Barbs begin to dull, hitches no longer hamper, and disintegration becomes integration.

…Like the alchemists of yore, I seek the philosophers stone, turning lead into gold. I use this not in its literal sense, but as a metaphor of  transmutation. Our experiences in life, many tragic or challenging, are like these barbs; these disparate threads snag on every new thing we do. Without integrating them, they catch and hold, pulling more threads.  The true alchemy is weaving these discordant moments to make a complex story.  Though my materials vary from tire shreds to copper scrubbing pads, the integration of object to subject is at its core.”  Banyan Fierer

Furniture Designers Santa Fe, NM
Kristin Bonkemeyer’s Studio with tables, Marfa, Texas

Kristin Bonkemeyer is an architect, designer and potter. She is currently working in Santa Fe and Marfa Texas. “I work with the idea of archetypal forms. My designs deploy a respectful use of materials, a transparent process and a passion for the simplified. I am in search of a restful beauty that resonates with an awareness that I believe we all share. The raku pots inform the architecture which informs the tables and back again.”

Santa Fe product-designers

Brian Arthur's Lichen Panels InSitu
Brian Arthur’s Lichen Panels

Brian Arthur, from Bastella Design, focuses on bringing products into the home or work environment that showcase a harmonious connection between the modern, the technological and natural worlds.

The *Lichen Modules  are comprised of two quarter inch thick pieces of acrylic glass with two types of lichen nestled in between. Galvanized bolts with nylon spacers as well as a grid of holes on the front panel allow air and moisture flow that enables the usnea lichen to continue to grow slowly over time. Therefore it is a living piece.

Indirect daylight also plays an important role in the growth of the lichen. Thin aluminum tabs allow for the formation of a grid of modules which then can function as a room divider or wall treatment. Two patterns are available: Dance and Waves.

“It is my desire as a designer and as a strong proponent for the conservancy of our natural habitats to bring forth objects that hopefully will touch you as I am touched in my journeys into the natural world.” Brian Arthur

product-designers Santa Fe, NM
Mat Long’s Pod, powder coated metal frame and maple top side table

Mat Long holds a B.F.A. in Sculpture. Born and raised in New England and Philadelphia, he was familiar with the Amish furniture-making tradition. It wasn’t until he met and married Julie Ruth, hailing from the heart of Ohio Amish country, that he began to really take note of the impeccable craftsmanship that goes into each piece.

His furniture design company Hoco Fabrication blends contemporary design with heirloom quality pieces meant to last generations. Designed in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the custom-sourced hardwood is sustainably sourced and finished by an Amish woodworker in Ohio, resulting in a level of quality rarely found in modern pieces. The steel bases are made by hand, tig-welded and powder coated in Santa Fe. Design and materials are custom and the possibilities endless. Contemporary Scandinavian and Latin American influences contribute to the minimal composition and clean aesthetic. Designer/Fabricator Mat Long lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Santa Fe product-designers
Dick Podmore Scarlett O’Hara Chair

Dick Podmore from England, living in Santa Fe shares his first prototype Scarlett O’Hara Red Ferrari Chair. A striking piece, made of steel and powder coat finish from Albuquerque, NM.

Making art is my way of bringing my unstructured musings to fruition. For my three-dimensional musings I engage in sculpture and furniture design. The chair combines both. It brings a sculptural quality to an amazingly comfortable functional design. Everyone that has sat in it for the first time has smiled with surprise and pleasure.”


We’re very proud to show and share with the Santa Fe community the work of innovative New Mexican product-designers. The area is witnessing a growing culture of design thinking, and we are glad to connect with other product-designers and be a platform to expand relationships with designers and industry leaders.

In the design industry, the local market plays a key role in success, as presence encourages other designers, provides jobs in the design field, and it keeps money turning in the local economy.” Sub material.

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We had a great time. Thank you all who came. We had an awesome turn out. Show will run until October 28th, don’t forget to tell your friends to visit and support the work of your local product designers.

More and more design is gaining a presence in Santa Fe. Visit us to experience some of the beautiful functional pieces that conform this show. Some are prototypes and others are completed, either as one of a kind items, or to be customized and ordered.

Molecule Design Store

About Adriana Siso

Adriana Siso launched Molecule Design in September 2010, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Molecule is the extension of a previous furniture design store that was founded in 2003 as an expansion on a career in fine art, which she pursued for more than 30 years.

She brings her talents and uncompromising quest for practical and original products to the world of home furnishings and space design. Molecule carries contemporary industrial designer products that are approachable, remarkable, cutting edge, made to last, life enhancing, sometimes irreverent, and timeless.

Later in 2006, Adriana started the process of conceiving the new showroom space that would house the store. Partly sustainable, the structure was built out of 11 recycled 40′ cargo containers. Completed in December 2010, it became the first cargo container building in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Always an explorer, Adriana loves to engage in the realms of discovery and innovation. InContext/Molecule Design’s Magazine, launched in December 2011, is the venue where she collects the great stories of creative thinkers, who in our current state of affairs, sometimes under great pressures and working outside the realm of imposed standards, achieve the impossible. It has been known that in times of great crisis, design flourishes. It is Molecule’s mission to show this light.

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