Modernist Aesthetic

19 July 2013

Sally Cooper Claypool Group

Sally Cooper at the wheel


We’d all agree that somewhere to sit is an indispensable consideration in any interior; what do you think constitutes the perfect chair?


The perfect chair is a nebulous thing. Like all essential objects in our lives, our criteria for judging them are so subjective. Is it comfort, form, sentimentality, or mere functionality that dictates our reaction to it? I have sold some very beautiful chairs, and we certainly buy chairs for their form and pedigree and rarity.

For me, a chair that has a presence in a room is a quality that most attracts me. I have a favourite chair that I responded to as soon as I saw it. It is not particularly valuable compared to many chairs we have, nor is it rare, but I love its simple curves and 50s aesthetic. It is a production line piece made by the Carter Brothers in post-war America, laminated ply and green leather. For me it ticks several boxes – sculptural, comfortable and is simultaneously retro and contemporary.

What is your favourite decade of the 20th century for furniture and why?


We deal in furniture that ranges from the Viennese Secession to Italian 50s, as well French 30s and 40s. Tyrone [Sally’s partner] has a very eclectic and sophisticated eye from which I have learnt a great deal. Consequently I couldn’t pin down one period as a favourite, though I do love a Modernist aesthetic.  I am very drawn to pieces that have an intelligence and uniqueness of design, that are well crafted, earthy and textural, and an interior that blends both vintage and contemporary. I tend to feel individual pieces that relate to each other in form and harmony and have their own sense of integrity can hold their own in a space without having to dictate a style or movement.

The beauty and functionality of ceramic vessels has made them a subject for artists throughout the millennia. What are the particular artistic satisfactions for you in working with clay? What do you love to make?


Working with clay for me is the best kind of therapy. When I’m centring a ball of clay on the wheel my breathing slows and my movements are very focused on that moment. Clay is a humble but forgiving medium that offers so much possibility.  Having honed my eye on fabulous forms for years, it is a frustration that my hands don’t create what my eye wants, but the process of making is deeply satisfying even if the outcome doesn’t necessarily meet my expectation. I am currently producing bowls.

What would you say is the one essential element that every sitting room should have to elevate it beyond the everyday?


The essential element that every sitting room should have is a soul. I have been in many styled rooms but they feel formulaic and lack warmth. The rooms that reflect the passions and interests of the people that live in it are the best for me. Art and objects that show personal choices, humanity and life are my favourite.

What is your best tip for making a room a pleasure to be in?


A room has an energy and that really has as much to do with the people you share it with as the things in it. Having said that, I don’t like down lights so beautiful lighting is important to me. I also like the way natural light plays in a room. I like texture and warmth with bursts of colour and I am happiest in a room with music and flowers.

Painting or sculpture – which would you have?


Both – depends who’s creating it.


What is your idea of the perfect chair?

What is your best tip for making a room a pleasure to be in?


Tyrone Dearing
Shop 2 Macleay Regis
12 Macleay Street
Potts Point NSW 2011
T: 61 2 8354 0724


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