I have always been fascinated by how spaces are able to invoke a distinct sense of feeling or aura. In an intimate setting, without the chatter of social concerns, one can fully appreciate an environment for its formal, and intangible qualities. I find myself focusing on certain aspects of an environment, and when reflecting on the memory of a place, letting those aspects exaggerate and fill the blank spaces in recollection. The result yields that initial “feeling” of the space, both slightly abstracted, and entirely familiar.
We as humans collect and cherish items that remind us of nature: wooden furniture, floral prints, feathers and furs, and living plants. There is a warmth and familiarity within natural imagery that brings us comfort in our walled-in spaces. Using wood as a foundation for my work, I strive to create pieces and environments that provide this often subconscious comfort, steering clear of reference to any social or trivial contexts. Using natural imagery and materials helps to reach a more universal audience, on a more intimate plane.
Light is a powerful tool to set the tone in any environment, used to shield certain aspects or emphasize others, changing the color, shape, and appearance of any given piece of its environment. Light can set the mood, it can obscure, or illuminate and leave no further mystery. It draws us in; our biological programming tells us it is safe to go where light ushers us in. I am a furniture designer and maker who uses the contrast of light vs. darkness as a way of expressing a feeling or idea. Using hardwoods and other materials, I strive to create elegant light fixtures that the viewer can experience on a personal level, often through functional use. I often find it is the subtle presences, like quiet light after the sun goes down, that touches an individual the most. I utilize soft lighting to invite the viewer to experience a quieter, more contemplative space than in everyday life, hopefully to invoke some personal reaction of thought or emotion.
Lana Sternick is a Woodworking and Furniture Design student at Maine College of Art. She creates her work to reflect a mix of fine arts and craft education from high school through college, pulling on inspiration from her experience in New England between rural Massachusetts and the city of Portland, Maine.
Besides woodworking and art, some of her other passions include music, snowboarding, traveling, camping, and world language.