Christopher Kautz for Vionnet
CRANEWALK – Christopher Kautz for VIONNET
BOUTIQUE VIONNET Corso Monforte, 16
To mark the 2012 edition of Milan’s “Salone del Mobile”, Vionnet presents Cranewalk, a sophisticated survey on wood by designer Christopher Kautz.
Boasting a simple, poetic layout, specially designed for Vionnet’s new flagship store located in downtown Milan in Corso Monforte, American designer Christopher Kautz will be exhibiting a collection of solid wood items- boxes, chairs and bowls – featuring elegant, sophisticated lines. Since its inception, the superb quality of the working techniques and a powerful style have served as distinctive elements of the Vionnet house, that considers Christopher Kautz an ethical representative on the international design stage.
When asked about this choice, Vionnet’s President Matteo Marzotto commented thus:“In Christopher’s work, his sense of detail and research are transformed into shapes capable of combining rational geometry with soft, rounded profiles. Characteristics that are in keeping with the history and style painstakingly created over the time by Madeleine Vionnet. I would like to thank Massimiliano Locatelli for his collaboration, commitment and passion in the creation of this project”.
The title of Kautz’s collection is a meld of nature, human beings and the concept of simplicity: In fact, Crane refers to the Sandhill Cranes that have traversed the North American continent for thousands years, known, since time immemorial, as symbols of efficiency and industriousness, while the word walk refers to the simplest and most spontaneous movement of man. Inspiration for the Cranewalk collection stemmed from a kitchen spoon made from the precious wood that grows in the Amazon rain forests: an object of seemingly simple construction and yet one that is both unique and irreplaceable on account of being not only serviceable but also capable of combining function, feel and ethics with everyday use. The handmade wooden objects created by Christopher Kautz which he wraps up with simple butcher paper to suggest that they are objects to be used, express all the quality of the wood essences with which they are made. Sculpted and turned by hand on a lathe, his boxes, chairs, art-de-la-table pieces and bento boxes are animated by the Japanese spirit of wabi-sabi, i.e. the beauty of imperfection: not simply sophisticated design objects based on sought-after working techniques but truly rare, unique pieces.
Christopher Kautz, whose creations are inspired by masters of the calibre of artist Alexander Calder, architect Santiago Calatrava and designer Isamu Noguchi, has concentrated, for years, on the ethics of design and, with his works, has investigated the shortcut between handcrafted and mass- produced items originating from large Asian industries, in which the mechanics of industry are replaced by the poetry of handmade pieces.
Kautz describes Cranewalk thus: “We need tactile objects in our everyday lives. Our minds have been dominated by the increasingly widespread use of various technological means; we need to return to our basic needs because beauty should exist in everyone’s homes”.
Born in 1980 in South Paris in Maine, from the time that he was a child Christopher Kautz showed an enormous interest in nature. After graduating with a B.A. in geology, he received a Fullbright Scholarship to study in New Zealand, later returning to the US, to New York, to teach traditional wooden boatbuilding while simultaneously honing his experience in the furniture industry.
His passion for wood carving, its various applications and manual work resulted in his decision to leave the city and set up a studio in Montana, in a rural environment where he is thus able to work in close contact with nature.