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Designer Spotlight: Erin Sullivan Objects

An email about Erin Sullivan Objects, a design line I had never heard of, popped into my in box a week or two ago. I scrolled through the images and immediately clicked for more. The pieces are stunning.

Erin Sullivan is a New York-based artist-designer who works primarily in bronze, creating objets d’art and accent furniture. The allure of bronze transpired through her interest in sculpture and intaglio printmaking while attending Sarah Lawrence College. She found herself more drawn to plate textures created through the acid process than the final printed paper. Sullivan first created  jewelry. Then her pieces grew in scale, to jewel-like objects and furniture.

Formally trained in classic sculpture, painting and drawing, Sullivan approaches her work as an artist more than as an industrial designer. Once her idea is on paper, Sullivan either sculpts a model using wax reproductions created from a natural object, or creates a three-dimensional rendering and rapid prototype. A mold of the final model follows, from which a duplicate wax positive is produced.

Once this wax is “chased” or reworked, with great attention paid to detail, “gates” or wax rods are attached to create channels for the molten bronze to travel through. The whole structure is then dipped, poured, devested, sand-blasted, welded, chased, re-detailed, polished and patinated. Depending on the size of the piece, the process can take three months from start to finish.

The Erin Sullivan Objects collection debuted about a year ago and includes 15 home furnishings and decor objects that are a cross between beautiful sculpture and functional interior furnishings. Each piece is a study of natural, beauty, sensual, spiritual and absolutely original. Sullivan is inspired by her world travels and interactions with indigenous cultures and rituals.

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Cornutas

The design of these hooks is rooted in the ancient belief that an animal’s strength was concentrated in his horns. Such horns were once were used on the headdresses of kings as a symbol of power. Available in five sizes in steel, brass, and bronze.

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Hex Table

Twenty-six white-lacquered hexagonal cells with polished brass honeycombs collide at three levels to form this coffee table.

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Detail of Hex Table

Materials: Lacquer, polished brass, quartz crystal, and lucite.

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Mushroom Shelves

A linear interpretation of natural organisms, these decorative bronze mushroom shelves evoke themes of nourishment, virility, and immortality.

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Turtle Skull

As a collector, Sullivan’s inspiration can be traced to her many personal finds, including barnacles, feathers, and beetles. This sterling silver and bronze turtle, the scarab, and feather is a unique piece that reflects feminine strength and creativity.

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Crystal Charm Malas

This latest collection of large scale wall hanging Malas, are strung with twenty-four white-lacquered beads. They symbolizes the double harmony of the sky and the earth. Each is adorned with a transparent-crystal charm that captures luminosity and reflects purity.

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Detail of Rhomb Mala

Materials: Lacquer beads, crystal charms, and hand spun bamboo rope.

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Feather, Scarab, and Snake Malas

The feather reflects the doctrine of animism, reinforcing the belief that everything is alive. The scarab (beetle) is an ancient Egyptian symbol that speaks to transformation, rebirth, and regeneration. The snake charm evokes yogic tradition, symbolizing the life energy of root to spine to crown.

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Scarab Mala

Materials: Bronze, South American mahogany, and leather cord.

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Alligator Table/Stool

This bronze stool is sensual and tactile in its approach to the varied patterns and fabric-like quality of natural skins, and balances function and organic form.

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Center: Snake Table/Stool

Cast in one piece, the bronze serpent stool is symbolic of bodily awareness, death and rebirth, and the spinal column.

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Artist & designer Erin Sullivan seated next to her Bubble Side Table design.

This spring, the Sullivan debuted a collection of cast bronze and plated stainless steel hardware and is currently creating a new collection of sconces that will incorporate new-to-her materials, including crystal and brass.

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