“My interest increasingly leans toward new ideas for historical furniture designs. I often struggle deeply for the courage to experiment with these existing forms; the ideas percolating for years in my mind and finding dozens of iterations on paper before I create them in three dimensions. This process, coupled with a thorough knowledge of the medium, elevates craft to art,” Jonathan Otter.
Beginning in 2004, Jonathan Otter- Furniture Maker was in operation and has experienced greater recognition than could have been foreseen. In that same year, Jonathan was awarded Juried Status from the Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council for both creativity and workmanship. In 2008 he opened a studio and gallery in Earltown, Colchester County, where guests now experience his work firsthand. The Northumberland Arts Council at the Fraser Gallery in Tatamagouche, NS mounted a solo show in 2011 of new designs. Also in 2011, Otter received representation through McCallum Gallery in Toronto where is J-Class Lounge Chair and Footstool are on display.
Lounge Chair No. 2 (2015) is pure sculpture with the bones of a continuous arm Windsor chair. The seat is deeply carved to cosset each sitter; its underside is shaped to flow into the legs. Curved spindles are individually crafted by hand and carefully fitted into the flowing curve of the continuous arm. A piece that distills all its makers’ skills into one exquisite chair that offers sensuous comfort. “It is composed of black walnut and white ash, with strikingly fluid legs-to-seat joinery. As a handmade object the chair demonstrates breathtaking technical skill. Its form is sculpturally conceived—a masterful example of fine craft and design. The chair’s design is visibly rooted in Nova Scotian forms, and encompasses multiple strands of design history in one work. The resulting singularity sums up its impact,” Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Awards Jury, 2016.
Lounge Chair No. 2 was a Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Awards finalist and received the Certificate of Excellence from the 2015 Arts and Crafts Design Award and the 2016 Niche Award.