Regina Connell

Regina Connell

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Christophe Come

Christophe Côme makes virtuoso showstopping pieces that bring together art deco and modern, with touches of industrial, typographical and even printed circuit board design. 

A high point of the work I saw at the recent FOG fair in San Francisco, I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw his work showcased through New York’s Cristina Grajales Gallery.  

The piece I saw – a “jewel box” of iron and glass – epitomizes the phrase “design classic” one of those pieces that feels very today, gets handed down through the generations, and that has dealers and auction houses clamoring over. It’s elegant, beautiful, muscular, lyrical and lingers in your memory.

Exploring the collection, I saw exquisite blown up versions of the jewel box: consoles, cabinets, cases. Digging deeper, I saw sculptures, lighting, and more, all immediately recognizable, and covetable.

His metalwork is exquisite on its own, but it’s his incorporation of glass that brings his work to life. The glass – not fussy art glass, but industrial-feeling cast glass that’s substantial and powerful.

What I love about his work, though, is that it also epitomizes great artisanship: it could only be the result of someone at the top of, and very much in love with his craft. 

Christophe, who lives in Paris, studied under renown French sculptor Louis Derbre where he learned to cast bronze. But from then on, he turned what is a typical model on its head. Many jewelry makers start out as sculptors and furniture makers but tire of the cost, time, and sheer physicality of working with large pieces of metal. Christophe went the other direction: he went from sculpture and jewelry to furniture and items for the home, though in many ways I still see the imprint of his background in his work. The consoles, cabinets and boxes are like jewelry at a far larger scale and have that allure that balances decoration and art. 

He turned to exploring the world of furniture in the mid 1990s and began incorporating glass after a visit to a glass studio in 1995. Today, Christophe uses industrial crystal and molded glass lenses he often transforms through carving, melting, and slumping.

Unsurprisingly, Christophe comes from a creative family: his father was a well-known ceramist, and his sister is an acclaimed illustrator. It’s clear in his work, a love of form and line, combined with material, process and fire. It’s the foundation of a modern classic. 

All images courtesy of the Cristina Grajales Gallery.