by Mark McMenamin -- Interior Design, 10/1/2009 12:00:00 AM
On the ebonized white-oak top of a console by Ty Best, his mahogany stalag-mite sculpture and candleholders in snake-wood with polished bronze or in rosewood with hand-waxed bronze meet two of his oils on canvas.
If Chicago will not come to Missoula, Missoula must come to Chicago. Designer Ty Best and his business partner, onetime banker Brad Rowley, are both from Montana, but their company, Caste, has its showroom 1,300 miles east of there. "Ty's inspiration is consistently drawn from natural landscapes, so intensely present in Montana," Rowley says.
Michelle Litvin constructed this sculpture from knitted mohair and wool, stainless steel, and silver. A carved birch bust, torched and covered with tree resin, sits on a steel stand beneath steel pendant fixtures draped with other knitted pieces by Litvin.
The correlation is most palpable in this season's deliberate emphasis on wood grains, smartly updated with bleached and cerused finishes. That through-line connects the white-oak lounge chair, the wengé bar cabinet, and a console that combines wengé with ebonized white oak. Steel accompanies the blackened walnut of a cocktail table, the ebony of a side table, and the leather and blackened walnut of a bench. Things take a more figurative turn with stalagmite sculptures in mahogany and a female bust that was carved from birch, torched, and covered with tree resin.
Lounge chairs are white oak. A wengé bar cabinet sits on a 17½-foot-wide plinth.
Currently on view at Caste, in a new exhibition program, is work by Michelle Litvin, whose photography often appears in this magazine and whose sculptures of knitted mohair and wool, stainless steel, and solid silver are now on display. 312-432-0717; castedesign.us. circle 402
Photography by Michelle Litvin.