Bright-eyed yet foolish, young people are often perceived as incapable of achieving great feats. Our professional culture is built on this assumption. But, as rare cases will prove, mastery can manifest at an early age. Not yet affected by the mounting pressures of life or the demotivating impact of critique, these prodigies can ideate and produce with unencumbered fervor.
Whether these exceptional individuals benefit from some innate force, sparely bestowed to a select few, or simply from being in the right place at the right time is hard to determine. What perhaps matters most is their ability to create truly original and honest work while also being able to draw in an audience.
For the late, great designer Wendell Castle, such a fortuitous coalescence was the driving force behind one of his most prolific periods. Between 1958 and 1980 (his mid-20s to late 40s), the unofficial “father of art furniture” crafted some of his most iconic pieces. During this time, he developed a sculptural and organic approach that would leave an indelible mark on the industry.