The ladies and I were sitting around at Lisa’s lovely cottage a few weeks ago and I was finally getting a chance to flip through some of my neglected decor magazines. Spring had been very busy for me and this was a huge treat! As I flipped through the Style at Home magazine I came across a picture that caught my eye. It was of a stunning bench made of wood and a woven material on top. A closer look showed me that the maker of this fine piece was from Ottawa. Wanting to learn more about this fine artist, I checked out his website, contacted him and asked if we could get a TBB sneak peek at his work. So here’s what I found out about Christopher Solar as I checked out his Glebe studio.
Firstly, Christopher is trained as an engineer, and then took an interest in fine art and print making. From his work, you can see his attention to detail and his fascination with materials. When I arrived, he had a strap bench in progress. A closer look revealed the source of the strapping…seat belt material! Because the strapping is available in 30 different colours, this is a super versatile piece that can be ordered in any colour combination, with or without arms and at custom heights and lengths. He uses CAD to design the pattern of the strapping to get both the perfect colour combination and layering of the straps. The bench he was working on is actually going to be at the new Alteriors on Bank Street, so if you are from our fine city (or are visiting!) you too can see and test out this lovely piece.
The next piece that had me drooling was his Danish Lounge Chair. The arms have this beautiful curve that meet at a 90 degree mitred joint. The joint is then splined to create this seamless curve that is both durable and beautiful, without the joinery being too flashy. The seat is woven in a traditional pattern with Danish Cord. It is as stunning from the front as it is from the back.
For something a little different, there was a standing screen in the corner. This piece can be used as either a divider or as a screen or simply as an art piece in the corner of a room. It consists of steam bent pieces of wood that are alternated so that the curves don’t line up. The back of the pieces are painted with milk paint to give a pop of colour and allow the wood to stand out a bit. A concrete base stabilizes the piece. I picture this piece with a light shining from behind to cast shadows around the room.
In a similar fashion, Christopher came up with the concept for his Stave Table. It is veneered pieces of steam bent wood with a concrete base and a glass top. The difference of materials and the texture of the wood grain and the slats of wood really make this piece stand out.
Lastly, the Bento Cabinet requires a mention. It is an ebonized wood piece that has a glass top, and has several pieces of steam bent wood that alternate top to bottom. By painting the edges of these smaller pieces with milk paint, this piece has just a hint of dare I say, sex appeal…but then maybe it’s the red that’s caught my attention.
After meeting with Christopher, I realized I had actually spoken to him once before at the Interior Design Show in Toronto. He says he’s already signed up for next years show. He’s still deciding what he’ll bring with him to showcase his work, perhaps a light fixture. We should be so lucky!
If you want to learn more about Christopher Solar Studio, check out his website at www.christophersolar.com. All photos for this post are courtesy of Christopher Solar Studio.
Donna says: “His work is so beautifully unique! I especially love the Bento Cabinet, what an amazing statement piece in any room!”