Today I had the pleasure of getting to know more about Evan Stoller of Stoller Works. I sent him a list of questions and he answered me with a the fascinating story of his career path and all of these beautiful photographs. Take it away Evan!
Stoller with his Rail Table
My mother was a painter and my father photographed modern architecture. Modernism was kind of a religion in our home. Living with the works of family friends such as the Eameses, George Nakashima and Alexander Calder was an education in design.
After studying architecture at Pratt Institute I began doing sculpture in NYC. My friends and I rented an abandoned cheese factory in what was to become Tribeca. For five years I had a fabulous skylit studio and produced a series of animal sculptures that culminated in a 9’ x 9’ frog that was designed to jump in the rain. To me, The Frog was my first real-world study in architecture. Organic systems were interpreted, organized and overlaid within an aluminum and spring steel skeletal system. The concept of a moving animal developed along an architectonic path of questions and creative solutions.
Stoller’s Frog Sculpture
My wife Phyllis and I moved out of the city to an abandoned airport, and then to a disused gas station. I began making larger sculptures that were influenced by the lattice construction of cranes and the structural purity of bridges. I completed works that appeared more functional – things that looked like organic lifting devices and sculptures such as ‘Ramp’:
‘Ramp’ is a 30’ long incline topped with asphalt. I called them ‘standing structures’ and they developed from, and as an expression of, the environment in which they were displayed. Some stood on long skids for optimal ground support or had pod-like feet to resist sinking into the turf. My sculptures were becoming supporting structures, close relatives of the tables I’m doing now. I completed a huge environmental sculpture in NYC that brought me back into the world of architecture. ‘Maya Station’ was an array of 40’ tension trusses spanning six 20’ tall towers and 10’ tall gates. My inspiration were the forms and spaces of a Mayan city. The sculpture defined an environment on an architectural scale, and after it’s completion I became an architect.
Architectural commissions are a real ‘through the looking glass’ experience. The thrill and complexity of architecture is always a voyage through the unexplored, an arduous but incredible experience. We built our own home and I began designing a series of houses, studios and more recently a medical clinic and a theater.
A painting studio by Stoller
My most recent sculpture seems like both an architectural model and a huge piece of exterior furniture. ‘Hudson Ecliptic’ is a modular 40′ diameter circular form that floats over rough terrain. It’s constructed from 120 cellular units that each display a tiny painting. Seeming like a chain of galleries, the sculpture becomes a miniature museum.
Stoller Works furniture started as custom pieces for architectural clients. I strive to express structural clarity and demonstrate an efficiency of of materials and fabrication. Working with big beams I invented a system to reinforce thin beam slices with tension rods and bolt them into extremely strong and rigid trestle assemblies. With remainders of deep rolled structural sections I make standing desks and podium tables.
Stoller Works Yellow Frame Standing Desk
My tables combine high-tech trestle structures with the warm surface of wood tabletops. We use walnut and ash from known sources and avoid the use of pollutants in manufacturing our products. All our plywood is FSC certified and coated with UV-cured finishes.
Stoller Works Station Table
Stoller Works Foundation Beam Coffee Table
Stoller Works City Desk
Stoller Works Podium Table
Thanks so much to Evan Stoller for taking the time to share his work with us today. Shop all Stoller Works tables and desks here.