Michael Aram is known for his one-of-a-kind metal creations, from tableware to furniture. The American artist found his niche on a trip to India in the late 1980s and set up a workshop in New Delhi. Today he splits his time between New York and India, creating collections and limited-edition pieces sold in galleries and through retailers worldwide (michaelaram.com). Home & Design caught up with Aram in July when he made an appearance at Nordstrom in Tysons Corner.
What is your typical day like in New York vs. New Delhi?
New York is fantastic. I wake up at the crack of dawn, go on a walk in the park and then to work, where my studio is above my store in the West Village. It’s all very urban and lovely.
Delhi is just the opposite. It’s beautiful beyond belief. Our home is British Colonial with a garden, peacocks and monkeys—as crazy as that. My greatest pleasure is working in the workshop there, as close as I can to the process. There’s an immediacy to my work in India, which I really love. In New York, I can be pulled in a thousand different directions; in India, it’s very focused.
What makes your creations unique?
Our whole concept was based on combining the handmade craft traditions with a sensibility that was not “crunchy-crafty” and homegrown. To take my sensibilities and apply my perspective with decorative arts and marry them together was very exciting.
How do you hope that your work touches collectors?
It’s important to infuse whatever you do—even if it’s a nut dish—with as much design or artistic intent as you possibly can. I always talk about that moment of pause when people say, “Oh, what a lovely fork.” It starts a conversation or makes that person remember the meal differently.