Lauren Grossman’s studio is a fascinating scene. It’s where she creates her various bodies of work, ranging from large metal sculpture, to small scale jewelry, to her production line of brilliantly quirky cast-wax figure candles. Her studio looks like a thousand works-in-progress combined with curated collections of vintage, industrial, and raw material and magnificent finished objects.
We’re soaking all this up in her shop while viewing her newest work in progress, which is inspired by the Tower of Babel. For many years her work has focused on imagery and stories from Judeo/Christian culture, and while centuries old, this subject matter always seems relevant. When discussing the inspiration of this newest work, she thoughtfully notes how in our current climate, divided groups who can’t seem to communicate are top of mind.
Her jewelry line, like her sculpture, utilizes a variety of found objects and recycled material. Strewn on her jewelry table are various beads, old glass tubes, and empty bullet casings. She has mastered the art of flameworking using only a MAP gas torch; just one of her many talents. She combines all of these elements into eccentric, jaunty earrings and necklaces.
Grossman’s most familiar work at Vetri is her nude figure candles. She came up with the idea many years ago as a joke item that was sold during the holidays. When she realized how much people loved them, she turned them into a year-round product that has helped her thrive as a full-time artist. She still makes each piece by hand in order to control the quality and craftsmanship.
It is evident that her art is a labor of love, and that the energy she puts into all of her pieces is just as important to her as the art itself. The diversity of materials Grossman uses help her to craft her message. Each work is an exploration of the ever-shifting meanings of ancient stories in the 21st century, and the contrast between lofty illusion and gritty reality.