Rebecca Gardner is an expert party and events planner, and self-proclaimed “master of forced serendipity.” She is the founder and creative director of Houses & Parties, a full-service event and interiors design collective in Savannah...
It was an absolute pleasure to speak with husband and wife duo Matty Cruise and Mary Nelson Sinclair about their creative practices. Mary Nelson Sinclair is an exquisite abstract painter, and Matty Cruise is an expert sculptor and furniture maker. They are based in the New York Hudson Valley area. We had an engaging conversation about their respective practices, as well as the collaborations they’ve done together.
Though their individual creative practices are masterful on their own, there’s a special magic that is tangible in the collaborations Mary and Matty have done together. The combination of their strengths results in highly sophisticated works of art and furniture. A recent favorite collaboration of theirs was a console table, which was commissioned this past summer. It’s an absolutely stunning brass console frame, with hand-painted doors using their trademark shagreen patina. The complexity of the final result is breathtaking; it’s clear to see how much thought and consideration Matty and Mary put into the project.
Mary Nelson Sinclair is a master of color and form; her abstract paintings employ a strong visual language as well as a melodious approach to color. She says that while her painting practice feels meditative, it’s also “a rush,” as though she is attempting to control something fundamentally uncontrollable. I asked her how she knows when a painting is finished: “It’s the moment when my heart stops racing when I’m working on it.” Mary sells her work mainly through commissions, but also has work for sale in KRB NYC and Hidell Brooks Gallery. Mary told me that she enjoys working within a commission-based business model, as it gives her more freedom in her studio practice. She’s been able to find success in her experiments with different materials, like the bronze and shagreen patina that her husband Matty uses for his projects. Matty prepares these bronze canvases for her, and Mary then hand-paints a design onto the surface with the shagreen patina solution. These small bronze pieces are available on her online shop.
Matty Cruise is the founder of design and fabrication studio Corbin Cruise, which specializes in ultra-customizable metalwork. Matty works with a variety of clients to create livable art: mirrors, telephone tables, coffee tables, consoles, and more – all of which are unique treasures that bear Matty’s signature affinity for spectacular finishes. After learning how to weld in high school, Matty went on to work in the customer service space of the design world. There, his artistic perspective and understanding of the interior design process was significantly expanded. With more knowledge and experience, Matty returned to his passion for metalworking and established a commission-based design and fabrication practice, Corbin Cruise. Much of his work recalls natural textures and colors; he says that he finds inspiration in nature. Matty told me that he even puts sculptures hidden around in the woods by their house. These pieces are alive, he says, and changes to their surface and color are bound to happen over time due to the nature of their constituent elements. Matty’s first collection was unique due to its marine bronze finish; he hadn’t seen much furniture in this turquoise aqua color, and felt drawn to it. His process is laborious and comprehensive: after preparing the raw materials and welding the metal bases together, he then works with the highly toxic chemical solution to layer it onto the metal surface.
I’m excited to see what the new year will bring for Mary and Matty and their collaborative projects! Mary hinted at moving more towards representational work; her abstract paintings sometimes have a floral feel to them, so she wants to experiment more with floral motifs. Matty is excited to officially announce his newest collection sometime in the near future. You can get a sneak peek of his new gouged metal furniture collection via KRB NYC, where two pieces from the collection are currently available for purchase. Thank you again to Mary Nelson Sinclair and Matty Cruise for speaking with me! To learn more about Mary Nelson Sinclair and Matty Cruise and hear our full conversation, click here.