first saw Christopher's magical lighted sculpture in East Atlanta at the Fountainhead
Lounge. His work hung throughout the bar. Alan bought one, go figure.
could never answer the question, what do you want to be when you grow up? until
recently. I realized I always wanted to be a wizard, Merlin, Prospero.
was born in 1966, raised in Jacksonville and Amelia Island, Florida, cultural
black holes, but full of sparkling wide rivers, hot, white empty beaches, volatile
lightning storms and a 90 year old rickety beach house where I was allowed to
build whatever I dreamt.
house has been struck by lightning four times in my lifetime. During the hot summer
afternoon tempest, my family and I huddled in the center of the old shack away
fromr the windows and electrical outlets. I perversely prayed for the lightning
to strike closer and brighter. It took me four years at three colleges to finally
reach a decision to take up furniture design and woodworking. The wood shop was
on the prairie in Gainesville, FL, underneath foot deep waters and home to 10
foot gators. My boss and mentor held a mystical belief in woodworking. He was
a poet. I used to say everything I learned in college I learned during the breaks
when I was not attending classes. This changed when I returned to the University
of Florida and studied under novelist Harry Crews.
wouldn't want to meet Harry in a dark alley late at night; nor would you want
your story to be the one he threw exasperatedly into the trash can as he asked
the class if anyone understood “Mr. so and so's #!!*?! story. He was harsh and
sharp, but true as a mentor. When you left his three hour class you understood
fiction, its point, its creation. Life is fiction and poetry. Everything is fiction
and poetry. Subsequently, I majored in short fiction writing. After graduation
in 1990, I moved to Germany. Haunted by residual mainstream convictions, I studied
German law in Bonn. Much too dry for my palate, I took a whirlwind trip around
Germany to see what there was to see. I settled in Freiburg, a provincial University
town in southern Germany and found employment at Galerie Blau, an industrial and
interior architecture design firm. I also found work a Massiv Moebel Bau, a furniture
studio run by another mystical woodworker from Yugoslavia who believed in Anthroposophism.
Galerie Blau, I learned of the lighting designer, artist and visionary, Ingo Maurer.
He became on of my most influential teachers through his books, shows and magazine
articles. Not being the natural employee type, I vowed that he would be the only
designer I would work for. It was at Galerie Blau that my fiction background underwent
a metamorphosis into three dimensional works. Gradually, my stories took on more
of an architectural structure, with sketches and schematics explaining poetry
and fiction. Writing turned to hieroglyphics and shapes. With the help of Galerie
Blau’s tutelage, I realized the resonance in design and architecture, how it affects
peoples lives, thoughts and emotional states. In 1991 I returned to the US and
drove west. My first stop was Boulder, Colorado. I drove down into the valley
at five in the morning on my 25th birthday. A thunderstorm had just passed, the
sun was just rising and the entire mountain range was brilliant crimson. Springing
from the enormous, 1000 foot outcrops of rock called the Flatirons were two violently
colored rainbow spears. I drove no further.
in Boulder I taught myself machine work, metal fabrication and started to research
high tech materials. Boulder is home to an enormous engineering, biotech and aerospace
industry. I was designing furniture at the time, until I designed a candle holder
made from rings of slate with the candle in the middle. I realized this piece
would be more effective with an electrical light source, so I stuck an MR16 at
the top. This was the work which influenced me to choose light as my number one
mistress and muse. This is no surprise in retrospect; I make decisions to enter
buildings based on the lighting. I am enchanted by the short magical time called
dusk, when night begins to hemorrhage from the cracks in the sidewalks and from
between buildings. When I was six years old. I tried to cheat the sun by looking
at its reflection in a mirror. Suddenly everything looked very complicated, super
3-D, as if I were seeing all sides of an object at once. Cubic vision. I formed
Blue Dune Design Inc. in Boulder and started selling my original work. After three
years in the Boulder marketplace I realized I needed to experiment and develop
my ideas further. I applied to The Savannah College of Art and Design and was
awarded a presidential scholarship. One year into this program, five graduate
students and I went back to Germany to visit the Cologne furniture and lighting
fair. It was there that I had the honor of meeting Ingo Maurer. We visited for
a time, I showed him some of my work and he scheduled an appointment at this firm
in Munich the next week. I met this design team over a round table lunch and after
two hours of discussion and exchanging portfolio pictures and ideas, he offered
me a position as a designer. However, I was committed to finishing my MFA and
returned to Savannah. I realized that I did not want to work for Ingo Maurer as
much as to be acknowledged by him, and one day meet him on his own level, as a
peer in Milan. I earned my MFA degree in furniture and product design in 1997.
The college purchased a reception desk I designed and executed for their main
art gallery and I received an award from Absolut Vodka to design and execute a
chandelier for their permanent art collection. This piece, "Absolut Enlightenment,"
hangs in "Drink" in Chicago. Since that time, I was commissioned for
another chandelier for "Drink" in Las Vegas. My thesis show, held in
a gallery in Atlanta, Georgia sold all of my thesis works. I actually turned a
profit while earning my MFA. Presently, my company in Atlanta, -Moulder Inc."
designs and manufactures commercial and residential lighting one-of-a-kinds, limited
editions and products for licensing to outside manufacturers and distributors.
With new advances in lighting technology, more designs from old, yellowed sketch
books are becoming executable; kinetic sculpture which responds to temperature
and sound, new work with 12 volt systems and innovative fixtures focusing on ambient
and task lighting and emphasizing shadow patterns. I recently took a trip to Murano
and Prague to source craftsmen who can execute my designs in cast and blown glass.
I plan to exhibit in the Euroluce show in Milan in the year 2002. I am currently
designing lines and one-of-a-kind lighting fixtures for restaurants, clubs and
residential clients. Additionally, I am collaborating with restaurant and club
owners to expand my design parameters to include interior architecture as well
as products. I would like to execute my corporate art work designs, using often
unexploited large atrium spaces for kinetic works which respond to their environment
and the people in the space. I am presently seeking companies to license lighting
and furniture designs.