Friends for years, designers Brad Ascalon and Frederick McSwain agree on little when discussing their craft. As a result, their conversations commonly revolve around other subjects entirely. This dynamic of communication became the basis as well as the challenge for their debut collaboration. Engaging in a creative tug of war, the resulting objects could exist only as a by-product of an ongoing dialogue of self-reflection, personal narrative, and interaction. As concepts began to crystalize, they searched for an appropriate mode of realization. Mesmerized by a handful of material samples, the duo not only found common ground but also a perfect partner in Alex Rasmussen, president of the third generation American manufacturer, Neal Feay Company. Adding a rich history of experimentation and digital innovation to the colloquy, the three began shaping their intertwined stories in anodized aluminum.
Using personal experiences as inspiration, they converged on subjects deeply embedded in American culture. Organically, the respective objects slowly began to take shape, at least in concept. The first step towards the physical realm came in the form of solid blocks of aluminum. Utilizing Neal Feay’s digital expertise and theatrical programming, tool paths danced through raw material, leaving behind a spectacular trail of pattern and texture. Chips flew, anodizing baths made way for radiant color. The final products boast a rich visual vocabulary that invites viewers to actively explore and discover the inherent subtleties within. In design as in life, everything is an experience, no two perspectives the same.