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In the Shadow of Magnitude

Thanks to popularity during their lifetime and the enduring appeal of their subject matter, demand for work often outlives great artists such as Dave McGary and Gib Singleton

Details: Things We Love

From uniquely designed cowboy hats and updated bankers’ lamps to quad micro bars, WA&A editors select their favorite objets d’art

Written by WA&A Staff  
October | November 2014


Low Gus Tecate and Little Big Sky by Montecristi Hats 

Located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and founded in 1978, Montecristi Custom Hat Works offers the finest designs in cowboy hats, from cosmopolitan to cattleman. Specializing in Panama and fur felt hats fitted to your exact head shape for quality and comfort, the company has acquired an international reputation. Expert hand-finishes are complemented with personal elements, such as exact brim width and color schemes, for a one-of-a-kind signature style. The company’s founder, Milton Johnson, spent three years sampling and acquiring his fur material. With the exception of the 1000X, which is beaver and mink, all the felt hats are pure beaver or 50 percent beaver and come in two weights: a thinner, supple and lighter dress weight and a thicker, more rigid Western weight. The Low Gus Tecate Hat is popular with the ladies for good reason. Stylish with a contemporary small frame and Western flair, this sage hat is adorned with a multicolor, semiprecious-stone hatband mounted on leather. Its perfect complement may be the Little Big Sky, a men’s hat with a tall stately crown that includes triple diamond vents, a wide pencil-curled natural-edge brim and a rugged disposition. It’s finished with a hat-band of sterling buffalo on braided horsehair for a fine, stylish update to the utilitarian tradition of cowboy hats.

Low Gus Tecate: $875 | Little Big Sky: $1,125 | 505.983.9598 | www.montecristihats.com


Quad Micro Bar by Joe Warren

Selected as the winner of the 2013 Core77 Design Award in the DIY category, the Quad Micro Bar by Joe Warren, blends the bar and chair functionality into a single, unified component. Warren recognized that tables and chairs are cumbersome assemblies that take up space when not in use. Why not have the option of only setting out what is required, even a table without any chairs, he asked himself. As an industrial designer and entrepreneur who created innovative products for a variety of industries and markets, Warren saw the importance of maximizing the footprint with seating on demand. The Quad Micro Bar combines a round, bar-height table with four fold-out stools to provide functionality in a variety of scenarios, including dining, enjoying beverages or as an unencumbered work surface while standing.

$900 | 30-inch diameter | 360.209.9833 | www.qmboptions.com


Prarie Dog Shoot by Brad Greenwood

Brad Greenwood creates sophisticated rustic furniture from his studio in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Northern California. He takes an innovative approach to the craft, and often incorporates mechanical components or gives new life to antique machines. “I get a lot of inspiration from antiques and, believe it or not, old artifacts that can be used in furniture. I like to use old parts. Those kinds of things really inspire me, but something about the wood does as well, with its patterns and sizes and shapes,” Greenwood says. He has worked as a full-time furniture maker since 1985, and his well-composed pieces are mostly made from naturally felled California hardwoods such as walnut, oak, elm and madrone. “One thing I really like about the coin-operated pieces and antique machines is giving them a new theme and a new life,” Greenwood says. “I think that makes it a lot of fun, and it makes it interactive. It kind of engages you to touch it.”

$19,500 | 20 x 30 x 55 inches | 530.832.0555 | www.bradgreenwood.com


"Mickey Muennig: Dreams and Realizations for a Living Architecture" by Alan Hess and G.K. Mickey Muennig

In this monograph featuring the work of architect Mickey Muennig, we’re allowed a glimpse into the creative process of an important proponent of organic architecture. Muennig creates individualized structures and spaces that express the dreams and needs of his clients while complementing the natural environment. He has designed buildings, most notably in Big Sur, California, that blend with their surroundings, employing passive energy features and natural materials in original ways. He was ahead of his time, incorporating “green” technology in his designs more than 30 years ago. Maintaining a daring balance between past and future, Muennig’s unique work captures the iconoclastic spirit of Big Sur.

$50 | 192 pages, hardcover | 800.835.4993 | www.gibbs-smith.com


Cedar Lake Table by Greg Klassen

Finding inspiration in his wife, three little kids and the beauty of the trees, rivers and fields of the Pacific Northwest, craftsman Greg Klassen creates functional, sculptural furnishings that double as artistic statements from his workshop in Lynden, Washington. Handmade in the truest sense of the word, each furnishing is crafted one at a time, and just as no two trees are the same, each work is also unique. From his River Collection, the Cedar Lake Table includes a lake of blue glass firmly situated in the center of a stunning log of Western red cedar that is meticulously worked for a silky finish. Klassen’s works are commissioned and collected around the world and have been exhibited at various juried shows, including the prestigious Smithsonian Craft Show.

$5,800 | 34 x 42 x 16 inches | 360.305.5070 | www.gregklassen.com 


Goldman Lamp by Ron Gilad

Created by designer Ron Gilad, the Goldman is a contemporary take on the traditional banker’s lamp, one of the earliest kinds of electric lamps. Banker’s lamps were made as early as the 1800s and were typically produced of a solid brass base and a green glass shade. Named for the number crunchers who worked long hours looking at small numbers, these lamps became a staple on desks throughout the world. The Goldman, named after the investment banking firm, was designed as a step in the evolution of this traditional lamp with injected technology and slick lines, explains Gilad.

$495 | 15.75 x 10 inches | 718.875.3472 | www.flos.com 


Belt Buckle by Brit

West Working from her Wyoming-based studio, Brittain, founder and owner of Brit West, seeks to produce classic and timeless Western art by hand and with passion. Brit’s story started on a film shoot in Asia. Realizing she wanted to do something more purposeful with her life, she moved to southern Colorado to work as a rancher and outfitter, where her love for vintage leather began. After too many “critter crunches,” she left the hard physical work of training young horses and bucking hay to pursue a life as a productive artist. Working in the hat industry in Durango, Colorado, she started out building hatbands, and from there has grown her business into a full line of custom hats, stunning, chunky turquoise jewelry, Western wear and leather work. Each of her unique belt buckles are formed after hours of designing and months of collecting fine American turquoise from mines including Kingman, Emerald Valley, Sleeping Beauty and Fox Nevada. Her passion for fine detail and craftsmanship are evident in each wearable work of art.

Starting at $700 | 2 x 2.5 inches | www.britwest.net


Felted Wool Stones by Ronel Jordaan

Renowned South African textile designer Ronel Jordaan takes her inspiration from nature and uses felt to give free rein to her imagination. Socially conscious as well as gifted, Jordaan has set up a women’s workshop in Gauteng, Johannesburg, where her personally trained artisans transform interlocking fibers, made from 100-percent merino wool, into freeform, oversize “stone” floor cushions. Though they may fool the eye, they provide immediately recognizable comfort to weary feet or torsos in search of a relaxing seat. Soft yet buoyant, the veined, smooth textured cushions can be arranged to support seat and back. Children love them. Parents love them. Guests love them, too.

From $298 to $695 | 12 x 5 inches to 31 x 16 inches | 800.233.6011 | www.vivaterra.com 

Low Gus Tecate and Little Big Sky by Montecristi Hats

Quad Micro Bar by Joe Warren

Prarie Dog Shoot by Brad Greenwood

Goldman Lamp by Ron Gilad

Cedar Lake Table by Greg Klassen

Belt Buckle by Brit

Felted Wool Stones by Ronel Jordaan