Life on Marrs

October 16, 2008

Marrs uses locally grown hardwoods exclusively, and a fair bit of found material as well. He likes found objects because they limit where his mind can go with the object. Obsessed with objects, Marrs says his brain is “on constant overdrive” thinking about a dozen different projects a day. It’s a dedication that makes it possible to make one-of-a-kind objects again and again.

“Definitely, I don’t like to do things twice. The conceiving of the original idea is my favourite part, and I really try not to derive ideas from things I’ve done in the past. I might build on an idea or technique to the point that I feel I’ve gone as far as I can, and then I slowly move on in a different direction.”

Although his works are one-of-a-kind, Marrs does have a consistent style. He works really hard to keep his creations very clean looking, and each of his works feature the mark of someone who has drawn influence from every possible area of furniture design.

As a testament to his drive and hand-made aesthetic, Marrs has begun the painstaking challenge of hand inking grain into wood. After countless hours tracing grain, he now can take a piece of local wood, dye it and then ink it to make an exotic wood. He started with a table top, and is now moving on to trying it on the small pieces of chairs.

He will present some of his hand-inked works art the coming OBJECToronto along with a series of works designed with glassblower Sally Mccubbin. The pair’s work sought to create objects that united and showcased each of their skills, such as salt and pepper shakers, a cake stand, and drinking glasses.

A table made up of found materials is Marrs’ favourite example of what his work is all about. Using metal chair legs and giant metal mailboxes, Marrs did his best to limit his own influence on the piece to just assembling it and crafting a sheet metal drawer. The overall aesthetic of the piece is what he wants his furniture to be about—worn, full of history and long-lasting.

“That’s something I try to do with everything…I use softer finishes, so that when you ding it, it becomes part of the character of the piece. The more dings you get the more character you’ll have until some point you no longer look at it as imperfection when someone nicked it with a fork, you’re going to look at it as the history and life of the piece.”

Check out Marrs and many other hip artists at OBJECToronto from Fri October 17 – Sun October 19 at Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel and other satellite venues.

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