When artist and designer Ty Best made his first furniture pieces back in 2007 it was out of necessity rather than creative indulgence. ‘I needed dispensary and worktables for my studio and I started to display my sculpture on the pieces I created,’ says the Montana-based creative, who spent many years working as a visual artist, sculptor and leading fashion stylist in California and New York before turning his talents to furniture. ‘I just worked in the way that felt most natural, which wasn’t with a computer.’
Best’s background as a sculptor is evident in his love of natural free-flowing forms and his hands on approach, which sees the designer sketch and hand-prototype each piece in wood at his Missoula farmhouse, before working with local Montana artisans to create the finished pieces in a palette of organic materials, including marble, bronze, leather and timber.
This September, a selection of 13 of Best’s furniture pieces, developed under the studio name Caste, will be launched at London space Willer. ‘I had been following Ty’s evolution as a furniture designer from the beginning,’ explains gallery founder Rebecca Willer, who also works with a stable of renowned artists and designers, including Paul Mathieu, Massimo Micheluzzi and Claudy Jongstra. ‘The exquisite forms and beauty of the materials were always perfectly matched, both new and timeless, bold and elegant.’
The pieces, which are priced from around £1,000 for a series of bronze and wood trays and centrepieces, to just over £25,000 for a hand-carved coffee table, include seating, surfaces and lighting.
‘I try to create pieces that endure the test of time but that also have a sense of adventure and personality,’ Best explains. This transatlantic shift, he believes, will act as a further boon to his practice’s ascendent status. ‘We are thrilled,’ he concludes, ‘to be invited to personally present CASTE in London because it places us in a market that represents the best of international design.’