Ellen Markel (1963-2020), Escritoire Merbromin, 2015; mahogany, plexiglas, led lighting, 33 x 48 x 16 inches; Purchase, Sylvia L. Rosen Endowment Fund, 2015
Artist’s Statement, Art in Craft Media 2015:
In both my furniture design and my assemblage work, I am drawn to the idea of creating tangible objects in our increasingly virtual world.
After college, and its focus on theories and intangible concepts, I pursued a longstanding interest in the design and fabrication of furniture and small sculptural pieces. With few technical skills and a limited knowledge of the history and craft of furniture making, I began an immersive European-style apprenticeship at a small father-and-son cabinet-making shop in Shoreham, Vermont. Over the next decade, I learned traditional joinery and finishing processes together with the principles of classical design. Continuing to rely on the classical principles learned while creating exacting replicas of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century furniture, I began turning the skills mastered in my apprenticeship to my own design aesthetic, and to other less traditional expressions of my craft.
My goal is designing furniture is to create pieces that retain a strong sense of balance and proportion, without evoking more obvious stylistic references.