HOW IT’S MADE:
My work in acrylic is a reaction to my work as a potter. Clay is magical and moldable, but sadly it has its limits. I always wished clay could be more translucent. Enter acrylic. Known by its brand names (Lucite, Plexiglas, Perspex) acrylic has always tantalized me. For years, I was on the hunt for a workshop that could balance my dedication to quality craftsmanship and my desire for ethereal, glowing, objet.
And then I found one…
Here’s how it’s done:
We work with an incredible acrylic workshop that takes our design from solid clay to sublime acrylic.
JA and his team of potters create a sculpture in our Soho studio. Pieces often begin as miniatures and then evolve into a larger scale. From there it’s sketch, sculpt, sample, repeat. Once the prototype is refined, it’s sent to our workshop.
The workshop creates a master mould of our designs using silicone. Like a chemistry project, just the right amount of tint is then mixed with a heated liquid acrylic. Once we’ve achieved color nirvana, the mixture is poured into moulds to cure and take on our objets’ final fantastical shape.
For multicolor objets or embedded items, artisans pour in layers, letting them cure until they can support the weight of the next. Because of shrinkage in the finishing process, items are created larger than full-size. Once in the mould, pieces are agitated to remove any air bubbles, then left to cure for a minimum of six hours.
The sculptures emerge from the mould with some edges webbed or slightly rough. Pieces are sanded and edges are finished with a small dremel tool or dry sandpaper.
Pieces are polished using a lower grit, wet sandpaper and then polished again with a dry buffing cloth. Because our items are too gigantic, detailed, and unusually shaped to use machines or sanding belts, buffing is done by hand and repeated with reduced levels of grit until we achieve a luminous finish.
Pieces are wet polished again for maximum smoothness.
Each piece is given a clear protective topcoat and buffed to its best look one final time.
MEGA MESMERIZING SCULPTURES
Oversized and perfectly provocative, they announce the presence of a glamorous eccentric.
The scale is big enough to fill an unused corner or let it rule your cocktail table.
It all started with the hippo.
I created our Brass Hippo and I loved it— but it was only 11” long and my cocktail table was begging me for more. So I cranked up the scale and cast it in solid acrylic—and then it was on. And now, we have produced an incredible array of twinkly, trippy pieces from oversized noses to poppy pills.
I’ve always been drawn acrylic objets—from mid-century to new wave, from Dorothy Thorpe’s weightless candlesticks to David Hicks’ fabulous furniture to Shirley Ritts’ (who is the late-great Herb’s mother) 1980s acrylic glamour.
SURREAL SIZE, HYPNOTIZING HUES
Acrylic has magical visual qualities potters wish they could achieve—our Giant Acrylic Foot goes from
pink to blue to purple depending on how it catches light. It’s alive with a pop spirit.