Local Artist Spotlight: Peyton Avrett
Just recently I ran across some work by a talented local artist and craftsman – Peyton Avrett. I was completely blown away by this custom chandelier in Aged Silver Leaf:
|This custom Sawyer Chandelier stands 5′ tall.
[br]But, this image just sparked my investigation. I had to find out more about the people who made such a unique light fixture. And, sure enough, they were from Charleston! Peyton works with Avrett, who makes handcrafted furniture, lighting and accessories, and they’ve been gracing historic Charleston with beautiful pieces for more than 30 years.
I had the pleasure of visiting Peyton’s shop last Friday and was surprised to find out he has 10 showrooms all over the country and 10 employees here in Charleston. They have quite the setup with some rare machines on display that are more than 100 years old.
Peyton works with raw materials like steel and brass and some exotic leather for custom table tops. But, they are also embarking on a new upholstery line, and I’m dying over their first piece.
Here are my two favorite Avrett collections right now:
|The Greg is made with polished and hammered brass shield.
|The Sarah Mirror is gorgeous with brass, polished metal & antique mirror.
And, a couple more of my favorite moments from our visit:
I love that we have so much talent in Charleston, and I want you to get to know them all, too! So, here’s a little Q&A that I did with Peyton.
Do you have a favorite piece of furniture that you’ve made?
One of my more favorites in recent memory was a variation on our Dozier Chandelier. The typical size is 20″ x 36″ with a single row of spindles. We produced one 5′ x 8′. It had six rows of spindles with a total of 900. It turned out to be a half mile of rod. It was impressive.
|A custom over-sized Dozier Chandelier.
|Regular size Dozier shown in Pale Gold.
Our entire new line is a favorite of mine right now. In the past I stayed away from most traditional blacksmithing techniques. I grew up around blacksmithing and tended to appreciate a cleaner look. With the new line, we came back to blacksmithing techniques of applying heavy textures and tapering. The materials really sing. We incorporated brass, vellum, wood and shagreen. And, working with leather has been a blast.
What is the most unique material you’ve incorporated into a piece? Where did you find it?
The shagreen and vellum are interesting materials to work in. Shagreen is the belly of a stingray and vellum is goat skin (parchment paper).
|The David has a Shagreen wrapped top.
|MJ Desk has a Vellum wrapped top and drawers.
What inspires you most about furniture making?
I am inspired a lot by the story, concept or environment that a piece of furniture is placed. There is nothing like a beautiful piece of furniture with a long history and story.
|The Avrett team at their North Charleston workshop.
[br]Check out all of Peyton’s creation on their website. They make and sell lines as well custom pieces. Thanks, Peyton, for inspiring us all in the Lowcountry! I can’t wait to incorporate one of your lights or tables in my interior design projects!