Studio Isac Elan Kaid Explores Amorphous Sculptural Furniture Rooted in Antiquity

by Laura Goldstein 

Isac Elan Kaid is about to fly to Italy for an intensive art residency outside of Florence. “I realize it’s not the best of times to travel,” he laughs,“ but it’s a fantastic opportunity to study scagliola, a 17th -century plaster technique made with selenite, glue and natural pigments that imitate the look of stone and marble,” he explains over Facetime.

The intrepid young sculptor and artist based in Vancouver,  grew up in farm country outside of Edmonton, Alberta. He has a diverse background having spent six months in Israel absorbing the culture which has intimately influenced his work. “It was a magical combination of a very modern culture rooted in an ancient past,” he says. “I was so inspired by the work of Israeli sculptor, Ilana Goor and lighting designer, Ayala Serfaty.” (She was co-founder of Aqua Creations now overseen by Albi Serfaty.)

Kaid works with crude, natural elements like gypsum that seems to come alive in his hands, then seals his pieces in wax to create one-of-a-kind organic sculptural furniture. UNIS, a pedestal table, is hand-formed in clay then cast in stone. He doesn’t add colour to his tables and for that reason there is something ethereal – almost ghostly about them – as if pieces are actually floating in an interior. GUERIDON 1 is a winged sculptural ode and INTERSTICE, he describes as “ a small space in between two thoughts.” Perhaps because of the tranquility they evoke, some of Kaid’s furniture has been placed in a garden setting like those for a client in the Hamptons. 

“I’m really attracted to working with my hands. That’s the journey which I think gives my work more soul and life,” he confides. Unpredictability is Kaid’s mantra creating the “story” as he goes.

In distinct contrast, Kaid created PULP WORK, a series of rugged, black tables made from discarded, non re-cyclable paper plastics which he renewed with India ink mounted on ash wood frames. Their volcanic ash appearance erupts from Kaid’s free-flow approach to sculpture and therefore no two pieces are exactly the same. Like charred torches, his CRUSHED LAMPS continue his exploration of degraded plastics permanently petrified through chemical hardening.

 Inspired by his travels in the Middle East, Kaid observed chairs in villages with a stylized architectural look that were constructed by ramming raw materials like sand, straw clay and wood into primitive molds. Resembling gigantic puzzle pieces, “I designed my MONO BLOCK CHAIRS using combinations of those molds, hand-pouring, stamping and pressing materials in place,” he explains.

“I also love working in travertine,” Kaid admits and two of his pieces designed for Galerie  Archimobilier in Paris, CONSOLE 5 and CONSOLE 6 are both studies in form and balance with striking striations of subtle natural colour and inspired by Kaid’s interest in modern Brutalist architecture.

Excited about immersing himself in Italy’s superb craftsmanship and rich architectural history, “I’m  happiest when I can escape to the country,” Kaid admits – still a country boy at heart.

The Unis Table by Studio Isac Elan Kaid is available at  SwitzerCultCreativeUnit 102-1636 West 2nd Avenue, Vancouver.