Art Deco Benches, untitled
The chairs and benches conceived of by artist Carolyn Braaksma were inspired by the strong art deco influence in the architecture of Silver Spring. Constructed of poured and polished granite, the stone flower pattern was water jet cut to emulate art deco upholstery and fabric patterns. The individual chairs with glass blocks at the base light up at night. Their form was copied directly from an art deco cigarette lighter, which can be seen by observing the chair in profile. Some of the pieces feature a shagreen animal skin pattern, popular in desk sets, that is in stark contrast to the polished smooth sides of the arms. The metal flower buttons were added only after Carolyn’s contractor commented that the crane used to set the chairs and benches in place would leave holes in the sculptures. They are a delightful addition to the piece, acting as upholstery buttons that echo the flower forms on the seat.