Anyone looking to enhance their decor will find several attractive options when Palm Beach Contemporary takes over the Expo Center at the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach March 10 thru 12. From hand-crafted wood to glass, visitors will find functional works of art that can be handed down from generation to generation.
James Pearce’s work is inspired by the nature of the wood itself. He finds the grain, color, and the texture of a piece of wood particularly interesting and, most of the time, the wood dictates the final form in a piece of furniture. Pearce has traveled and lived all over the world and draws design influences from the countries he has visited.
Finding traditional tools and methods of work the most satisfying, Pearce uses hand tools to refine the curves and shapes that are prevalent in his work. The artist does not use stain in his pieces and prefers that the natural color of the wood determine whether a piece is light or dark. He makes his own varnishes based on old recipes and uses them to highlight and protect each finished piece.
James Pearce grew up working with wood, the fourth generation in his family to do so. The form, function, and style of his pieces result from personal exploration of the medium.
Earl Nesbitt combines his original designs with the highest quality materials and the finest craftsmanship to create custom furniture in the form of functional sculpture. He classically trained in a one year award-winning apprenticeship with a master furniture maker in 1989 to 1990. That early experience as well as the rich history of furniture making in the New Hope area, including George Nakashima and others, contributes to Earl’s work as a furniture designer as he showcases the beauty of natural wood.After his apprenticeship, Earl worked as a furniture maker for two high-end cabinetry/furniture shops.
His work from that time included a wide variety of custom furniture items: from Park Avenue penthouse suite renovations; to pews at the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.; as well as many private and commercial projects. During this period Earl was also designing and building his own custom furniture. In 1995 he opened his own studio. His furniture has been shown in galleries around the country and can be found in a wide variety of locations, from contemporary homes and businesses to western-style haciendas.As a furniture maker and furniture designer, Earl’s style is defined by his use of large slabs and rare highly figured woods combined with clean, elegant lines and an eye for detail. His furniture displays solid wood so that its subtleties can be enjoyed: the way the grain moves through a sculpted piece or the feel of a tabletop or a shaped edge. Throughout his career Earl has worked with many different clients on many different styles — from contemporary, to Art Deco, to western-style pieces.
The studio glass movement began in 1962 when a ceramics professor, a chemist and engineer started experimenting with melting glass in a small furnace and creating blown glass art. This approach to glassblowing blossomed into a worldwide movement, producing such flamboyant and prolific artists as Kit Karbler, the proprietor of Blake Street Glass Studio in Denver. Karbler studied art at Ohio University and UCLA, before becoming a renowned modern glass artist.
“The primary purpose of my work,” says Karbler, “is not to simply allow you to hold objects, but to hold your imagination and light.” The techniques that have been perfected over the years combined with hours of preparations produce a visual experience that leave a lasting impression.
Meet these talented artisans and see their latest work March 10-12 at Palm Beach Contemporary. Details below.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: PALM BEACH CONTEMPORARY: THE ART, DESIGN & FASHION EVENT OF THE YEAR! WHEN: March 10, 11 & 12, 2017
HOURS: Friday & Saturday 10am-6pm | Sunday 11am-5pm
WHERE: South Florida Expo Center | 9067 Southern Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33411
TICKETS: $15 | seniors (65+) $12 | 14 and under FREE