Artist Chris Brody Explains, Demonstrates His Inspiration for a One-of-a-Kind Fallingwater Vase
September 14, 2021
Artist Christopher Brody did considerable research in preparation for his first visit to Fallingwater a few years ago.
But, he admits, “nothing prepared me for the reality of seeing the house for the first time with my own eyes, watching it almost grow out of the landscape as I approached, walking through its spaces, seeing the views shift around me in three dimensions. It all felt brand new in a way I wasn’t ready for.”
After that visit, the artistic bug tugged at his heartstrings and he was inspired to create a one-of-a-kind visual piece that represented the unique beauty and encapsulated his wonderful experience at Fallingwater. Working from “brilliant suggestions and insights” from Fallingwater Museum Store Manager Craig Falatovich and Fallingwater Director Justin Gunther, Brody, who specializes in art pottery and fine art and architectural mosaics and tile work, says capturing Fallingwater’s rhododendrons made the perfect design motif for a vase.
Brody’s result is a stunning limited-edition vase that stands 14″ tall and features a hand-carved rhododendron leaf and blossom motif in tones of greens and ocher, with an unexpected Fallingwater Red glaze on the rim and interior. The stylized rhododendrons reference the house’s woodblock paintings inspired by Japanese cultures. The foliage design is a nod to famed Mexican painter Diego Rivera, whose work is included in the Fallingwater Collection.
“I wanted the design to straddle the organic and the structured, much in the way the house does. The natural surroundings are so well integrated into the experience of being in the house, and this was my interpretation of that balance,” he adds.
Designed exclusively for Fallingwater, the rhododendron vase can be purchased on site or online. And it’s the first piece in what will be a larger collection that will feature various-sized vases and debut in time for this year’s holiday gift giving season.
Brody, who lives in Riverside, California, is a graduate of the Parsons School of Design in New York City with a foundation in drawing, illustration and graphic design. His distinctive hand-carved art pottery references a range of historical styles as well as his Mexican-American heritage and expat upbringing in the English countryside.