Landscape and topography have always inﬂuenced Gregor Turk’s sculpture, photography and paintings, but decorative arts were never quite on the artist’s radar. Yet, just last December, the Atlanta native debuted a line of pictogram-inspired tableware called PlaceMates. The display- and dining-worthy ceramic plates and bowls bear the stamps of the now ubiquitous symbols for men and women plucked from restrooms around the world.
But it’s the artist’s newest home design venture—intricate, hand-sculpted earthenware lamps that are as tactile as they are beautiful—that at once reveals a glimpse into Turk’s patient, multilayered approach and renders these pieces exhibition-worthy works of art. Called Tatoosh, the collection features contoured lines that pay homage to the topography of Washington’s Tatoosh Buttes mountain summit.
The lamps’ layered format is simply an extension of two of Turk’s earlier works, primarily a freestanding sculptural series called Atlas that he says consists of large, book-like forms that “explore the absurdity of trying to contain the Earth in a book.” Because the artist wanted to explore alternatives to freestanding sculpture, Atlas soon inspired him to “bring it to the wall.” The result? A series of convex ceramic tablets called the TopoTablets, created in a similar vein.
Each Tatoosh lamp boasts a hand-sculpted, of-the-earth feel; variations in shape include rectangular and round forms as well as short-and-squatty cubes. After ﬁring, glazing and wiring the pieces at his Westside studio, Turk tops them with silk drum shades in pebble or platinum hues.
“The lamps have an earthy feel, but there’s a sleekness to them that makes them very adaptable,” Turk says. “They’d be just as at home in a beach house as they would in the mountains or in a contemporary setting.”
Likewise, the white glaze Turk has chosen for the lamps keeps their interpretation open-ended. “It could be water currents, ﬁngerprints, wood grain or convoluted contour lines,” the artist says. “If you go much darker, you lose sight of the lines and it becomes more about the earth and strata.”
Already turning heads at Mecox Gardens in Palm Beach, Florida, and 14 Feet in Healdsburg, California, the Tatoosh collection may be sourced locally through Turk’s studio.