- Art & Design
Ceramicist and furniture designer Aaron Poritz comes from Brooklyn, Massachusetts, and grew up in his father's woodworking and sculpture studio. The designer says he always knew he had a passion for understanding how objects and buildings are made. Given the many unique creations he has already unleashed on the interior design world in recent years, we too are convinced he is right at home here.
When Aaron Poritz was a child, he spent hours exploring the vast forests surrounding his home in Leverett, a small town in the Pioneer Valley in northern Massachusetts. He remembers the feeling of being among the trees as spending time with companions, something that later inspired him to train as a woodworker. Portitz's studio is multidisciplinary, with both design and fabrication under one roof. Designs focus on using high-end materials combined with flawless fabrication. His work emphasises the natural patterns and textures of wood, stone, and ceramics. While his furniture is highly detailed and timeless, his sculpture is playful and unexpected, inspired by ancient functional forms contrasted with wild surface textures and colours. What he likes most about his work is the freedom, the ups and downs, the creative process, making things that are physical and learning about machines and technology. With his designs, he mainly wants to make beautiful, timeless things that his buyers enjoy.
‘I enjoy getting to the bottom of things and understanding why something is what it is’
However minimalist his works may look, Portiz has taken a sculptural approach to his craft and created a brand new collection of wooden lamps, chairs, and desks. The familiar and inviting look of this new body of work, titled Big Woods, is inspired by the proportions of the human form, something our brains subconsciously look for. Although all seven works in this collection are organic in form and reminiscent of the work of famed sculptor Henry Moore, Poritz's treatment of the wood is varied. Some have a rather sensual look while others appear charred and have a rough finish. At first glance, these pieces look handmade, but they are produced with a mix of digital tools and handmade finishing. The designer knows very well what the best choices are for a particular design: ‘I always go by my first intuition and feeling when I look at art. If something evokes a feeling, good or bad, I am usually attracted to it. I enjoy getting to the bottom of things and understanding why something is what it is’. He prefers to work with natural materials such as wood, stone, and metal. These days, he explores many native woods and enjoys how each tree has a different colour and texture. Thus, he often creates glazes that resemble the moon or ocean coral in colour and texture. ‘I love exploring different ideas and themes every year and I think that often makes for work that looks different in each collection. The common thread is always using natural materials and highlighting the natural beauty of the material,’ he reminds us.
Want to read more about Aaron Moritz? You can read it in the summer edition 2023 of Imagicasa Magazine.
Photography by Nicole Franzen
Text by Elke Aerts