Pennyweight Goods No. 05 / by Elise Joseph

Photo by Joe Gomez.

Photo by Joe Gomez.

It is with great pleasure that I announce this beautiful new edition to Pennyweight Goods. Christian Fecht is an amazing designer, a creative thinker, and a generous friend of mine. Last year, he and I collaborated on a gorgeous wood table for my dining room that is easily my favorite piece in my home. He is now producing these tables and has lovingly named them "The Elise" in my honor. It goes without saying that it made perfect sense to team up with Christian on these stunning wood bowls for June. Learn more about him in the interview below, and don't miss this video showing the fascinating detailed process and story behind his work.

Tell us a little bit more about the process. How long does it take to create a bowl from start to finish?
My role in the process is very short. I simply give form and function to something that is already a work of art on its own. The real creative process belongs to the tree which spends its entire life painting its own skin. It's a really marvelous creature. Such a generous partner, too. Of course most of her life she will spend breathing in our carbon dioxide and giving us back oxygen, which we rely on to live, and then in death she quite literally gives us her body. Hopefully I'm expressing my gratitude by giving her some type of immortality, some life beyond death. She is definitely an artist that deserves some recognition. 

Where does your design inspiration come from?
I think it comes from simply trying to be open and aware of beauty in all its forms. There is such a copious amount of drama in the human experience that I don't feel the need to insert myself too much in the design process. I like to step back and hopefully point people in the direction of something that is already inherently beautiful. I see shapes in nature, or expressions on people's faces - or some poetry will strike me and I'm always wondering how I can translate that experience into something practical like furniture. Because I think it's important to really think through what the objects we interact with daily are saying to us. I hope I'm not being too ambitious, but I'd like to think that something as simple as eating from a wooden bowl may encourage us to be more aware of the beauty that we constantly find ourselves surrounded by. 

Does the creative community in Nashville influence your work?
Of course. We are all affected and influenced by our communities and I'm lucky to find myself in a very creative one. I have a group of friends who I meet with on a monthly basis and, although we all work with different mediums, there is a passion we all share that fuels our own individual crafts. I'll have these conversations with my buddy who is a filmmaker and I'm not totally sure if they are about furniture or about film. But we connect on something that's deeper. It's all the same really. The medium might be different and where he uses film to tell a story, I try to tell mine with wood or metal. 

Where did the inspiration for this Pennyweight Goods piece come from?
In our house we have an old wooden bowl. It's been around the block a few times and the amount of meals that have been eaten from it are evidenced by all the scratch marks. But the experience of eating from that bowl is something else. I think with porcelain it cleans so easy that every interaction with it seems like it could be the first one, as if no one has ever eaten from that dish before. But with this old wooden bowl you can't escape it's history. Time has changed the color and texture and certain utensils have left their own mark. You are connected to its history and to the people and meals that have come before you. It's amazing to eat a meal alone and yet feel as if you are participating in something very communal that transcends where you are and when you are. At that point there isn't too much that separates us from our ancestors. They probably ate the same way.

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Pennyweight Goods is a curated shop, featuring small batches of beautiful pieces from various makers around the world. The site will be updated on a monthly basis, but be sure to sign up for the newsletter so you don't miss anything.

Thank you to Joe Gomez for the photos and video.

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