Works from the Salvers Collection, on view through June 20 at David Weeks Studio. A second set of the Salvers debuts today in Paris as part of the “American Design in Paris” exhibition at the Mona Bismarck American Center for Art & Culture.
You probably know David Weeks for his stunning lighting, fluidly formed furniture, or craggily adorable wooden creatures. Last fall his studio branched out from Brooklyn to Manhattan, with a new standalone atelier in Tribeca that is part design studio, part showspace for one-of-a-kind prototypes, collaborations, and work from other artists. It is currently home to a month-long exhibition of the Salvers Collection, designed in conjunction with Alex Rasmussen from Neil Feay Company. Weeks made time to tell us more about the project as well as his new collaboration with Flavor Paper (spoiler alert: gorillas are involved!), what’s on his desk, and the best advice he’s ever received.
How are things at your new Tribeca space? Has having a standalone atelier affected your creative process/output/how you spend your day?
Things are great! Challenging, exciting, exhausting. We had run the numbers before I decided to open a dedicated showroom and they are playing out as planned. I didn’t plan on the level of focus and complexity that it has ended up taking. To have a public venue while running a design and manufacturing company is hard. It’s also exhilarating and fun to be in control of my own destiny.
How did your collaboration with Alex Rasmussen come about?
I met Alex a year ago, and we discussed collaborating almost immediately. He has such a phenomenal facility at his beck and call at Neal Feay. It’s hard to imagine.
How would you describe the six unique designs in the Salvers Collection?
The collection ended up being a reaction to what his CNC [Computer Numerical Control] machine could do. I designed my pieces using the stock material and cutters they had on hand, and tweaked the jigs that hold the piece to the machines. The great thing about CNC to me is that it will do whatever you tell it. There is no need to make things at right angles. It’s an opportunity to visualize a unorthodox form, draw it, and have a huge industrial machine create it.
You also recently collaborated with Flavor Paper—what did you create?
That was a totally different type of collaboration. My wife [Georgianna Stout, founding partner at 2×4] saw the pages in my sketchbook where I had drawn many, many gorilla heads when I was developing Hanno, my first wooden toy. She contacted Jon [Sherman] at Flavor Paper and he was into it. I trusted Jon’s knowledge. He finalized the pattern and picked the initial test colors. I wouldn’t have taken the chances he did with color and backing papers. I would not have expected silver and rainbow mylar to be something I responded to. But they’re great and you can imagine them transforming an interior space.
What is the most meaningful object currently on your desk?
A strip of photos from a photo booth of my kids.
What is your product or lighting design pet peeve?
Unconsidered details. When given the opportunity to use resources beyond your immediate access, you should push it and try to think out the process.
What is the best creative, business, or life advice you’ve received?
Trust your instincts and hope that the last thing you make will be your best work.