There's a talented artist living in Brooklyn, NYC, TJ Volonis. Of course, there are many other creators of beauty, but our designer is special. He is obsessed with a passion for one material, using copper tubes as an object of application and source of inspiration for his creativity. Working with patterns in a certain volume of space, the artist creates amazing pieces of furniture and room décor elements. His creations embody the delicate balance between order and chaos, the whole image and its elements.
The way to start his own business, the designer went, one might say, unintentionally and unconventionally. He has always been attracted by the properties of copper as a material: its high flexibility, thermal conductivity, plasticity. Maestro has thought up designs of lamps and screens, but at first he didn't make sketchbooks of future projects and didn't bring them to the stage of working development. Having considerable monetary difficulties, the master first made a table out of copper tubes for himself. I liked the result. The next step was the creator's participation in an auction of young artists. His work, exhibited there, won the author a prize as the best example in its category. The designer was noticed by the masters of art. It gave an incentive for further steps.
The designer works exclusively with copper, because he believes that until he has studied and exploited all the possibilities of this raw material, he has no interest in moving on to others. The artist is attracted to such properties of metal as the warmth of visual perception, the beauty of color at different temperatures of heating during the action over the design, the plasticity of shape-shifting. The creator of the masterpieces made of copper pipes likes the way banal pieces for sanitary ware are transformed into original interior items in his skilful hands.
The time it takes the artist to make each piece depends on the level of difficulty. Most of his works fall within the range of 20 to 100 hours. The master draws inspiration for his creations from the industrial aura of New York, its industrial infrastructure. Railroad tracks, bridges, plumbing, utility systems are the work environment that generates his creative ideas and designs. Inspired by his favorite material, the author refracts the utilitarian objects he sees through the lens of artistic perception. This is his way of expressing himself in design.
The creative process of turning simple copper tubes into a beautiful piece is deliberate and regimented if a functional object – a shelf, chair, etc.. If the purpose of the work is to create a work of art, then the author preliminarily estimates only the size and theme of the future masterpiece. What follows is free improvisation.
Copper is a grateful material in terms of color solutions. It can be polished to a shine or oxidized by keeping it in the air for a while. To preserve the traces of the blowtorch for artistic purposes, the piece can be varnished. Galvanized surfaces have special features.
The master's work can be divided (of course, with a certain degree of convention) into functional and decorative. Each category has its own special features, but the style in the first is a bit more complicated. It's often the case that even an artist's experience with copper tubing isn't a guarantee of getting the result he envisions. You have to be patient, you have to analyze the vagaries of the metal, you have to be able to hear what it says in its silent but expressive language. And then comes the right solution to the problem. The key to success is to cooperate with the treated raw material as a full partner. For each material has its own characteristics, limitations, strengths and weaknesses.
As a self-taught artist, designer TJ Volonis doesn't think he needs to spend much time in the studio right now learning about material properties and design techniques. True, he used to wonder if he could get a job as an apprentice plumber for a while to learn professional methods of working with pipes. It is possible, he said, that this idea will still be implemented. In the meantime, he is happy that he can create something interesting for a client and get a fee for it, to spend it on new works.