July 18, 2015
Roger Thomas’ latest designs for Studio A Home delve deep into the history of design and craft.
Roger Thomas usually works at a scale most of us can’t imagine – orchestrating multibillion-dollar projects with thousands of guest rooms and dozens of expansive public spaces. So it’s an informative delight to see the Wynn Resorts designer hone in on something that can fit on anyone’s desk.
He brings the same near-encyclopedic knowledge of art and design history to these projects that he brings to a mega-resort. The “Quandary Box” above is only about 10 inches long, but it comes full of thought and observation. “Men drew spirals at the very dawn of two-dimensional expression,” Roger notes. The choice of material is inspired by some of his favorite designers and artisans, Frenchmen working in the first third of the 20th century who used contemporary materials to define new concepts of modern, luxe and chic.
The entire collection, which you can see on Studio A Home’s site, includes a variety of shapes and patterns. The intricate mosaic inlays result from the application of hand-crushed duck eggshells in a precise pattern onto the lacquer half-way through the lacquering process. Each box is hand crafted by artisans, so no two are exactly alike.
Other recent creations (see the slideshow below) include a tall, luminous alabaster urn, which Roger says “has a mysterious connection to the silhouettes of ancient Cycladic alabaster vases, if one had been reimagined or added to by a Venetian in the Byzantine Era or a Roman during the Renaissance.”
A series of vases with classic “attenuated silhouettes” draw on both classical Western and Asian influences for a “simplicity of dramatic presence” able to frame a perfect bloom, Roger says, much as a Palladian window might frame a view of Tuscan countryside. Roger says the vases were inspired by a 5th century Greek lekythos in his own collection, as well as by examples from Japan’s Edo period in the collection of one of his favorite museums.
As the designer’s latest mega-project, the $4.1 billon dollar Wynn Palace in Macau, takes shape ahead of next year’s opening, Roger has also been spending more time in China. A gold-leaf mirror in the latest collection is one charming result, combining classic French shapes with a finish reflecting the designer’s own updated take on chinoiserie.