Eric James Loucks
Making Meaning

ABSTRACT

Making Meaning explores mental health through the lens of a contemporary craft-based design practice. Themes of identity, catharsis, connection, flow, teaching, and community create a framework for understanding the role craft plays in developing and maintaining a healthy mindset. The physical pieces that result from this approach are meticulously made, highly considered, and given the quality of contemporary heirloom: a piece that promotes a kind of emotional connection and wellness in their owner. 

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Blue round dining table with concrete base.

Decapitable

Dyed Ash, Dyed Concrete, Steel
60"x60"x29.5"
2021

 

After not being able to share meals with loved ones for so long, I wanted to make a table that symbolized the human connection that we all have been missing for the last year. A table with no head, where everyones seat is equal. 

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Detail shot of table

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Orange Chairs around Blue Table

*Orange chairs, titled "Air Chair" were designed by Jasper Morrison for Magis in 1999


 

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Chair made of ash wood.

Chair Chair Chair

Ash
23"x20.5"x27.5"
2019

 

A chair named by a mantra. When I get truly immersed in what I’m making, it consumes all waking thought. My time away from it is spent designing jigs and fixtures, thinking about what steps are next, or how I’m going to cut this piece or that joint. It’s all consuming and I love it! In the six week span of this project, we had two weeks to design, two to prototype and refine, and two to make the chair. All I could think was, “Chair, chair, chair!” from the moment I’d wake up until the moment I’d fall asleep.

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Side view of chair.

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rear angle of chair

 

Contemporary Heirlooms

 

We live in a world where planned obsolescence is so common, that we have lost sight of the quality, craftsmanship, and longevity in the things we own. Contemporary Heirlooms is the idea, through a series of objects, that objects should stand the test of time. Not only in their physical sense, but also in their intended function and use. These objects are intended to promote a kind of emotional connection and wellness in their owner. This body of work is a manifesto that I will NOT make future trash, but rather Contemporary Heirlooms.

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Round mirror

Hoop Mirror

Walnut
24" Diameter
2020

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Maple book ends

Tetra Bookends

Maple
6"x8"x9"
2020

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Leather Dish

Dish

Formed Leather
8"x13"x1.25"
2020

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three bronze candle stick holders

5-2-3 Candle Stick Set

Cast Bronze
3"x3"x11.25"
2021


 

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Blue tote bag

Blue Boy Bag

Natural Indigo Hand Dyed Canvas, Felt
5.5"x15"x12.5"
2020

 

Made while I was sick with Covid. It's truly an object of catharsis. As my strength was reemerging and I was able to make this bag, the act of making became revitalizing. 

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interior shot of bag

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person holding bag

 

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yellow chore coat

Chore Coat

Hand Dyed Canvas, Wenge Buttons
2020

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detail of tag

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detail of button