|Unite Two Design Studio, 639 Harlot Street, Elbridge NY|
At first glance Keith and Theresa Traub of Unite Two Design appear perfectly normal. Engage them in conversation and you’d never suspect them of being that type – you know, risk takers; convention buckers, people audacious enough to grasp a dream with both hands and trek across the country in pursuit of it. Who does that? Only people capable of bringing into alignment a rare trifecta – the Will to relentlessly pursue an artistic passion, the Gift to create a thing that stirs the soul, and the Know-how to transform the whole affair into a viable business.
They are an uncommon couple: fierce; artistic; wildly inventive. And utterly unassuming.
|Farmpunk coffee table|
|Theresa Doddona-Traub and Keith Traub|
We meet them in Elbridge in their design studio on Harlot Street – the former Vanderveer Coleman bean processing plant – where they’ve spent the past year and a half renovating the workspace. Artistry in the smallest detail suggests the creative impulse is instinctive, subconscious. Sunlight pours over materials piled on long work-benches. It is space arranged for possibilities.
Keith takes us to his latest project: a coffee table constructed from old barn boards and a slice of metal fuel tank. The table’s surface has been oiled to a fine patina. “Oh, I haven’t seen this one yet,” Theresa says, running her hand along the grain. “It turned out great.”
We concur. The couple has spent years refining their style: “Farmpunk,” a romance between repurposed antique artifact and modern iron-work. It is a study in contrasts, sometimes quirky, sometimes whimsical, often drop-dead gorgeous.
Take the coffee table for example. A sculpture, really.
What makes this couple and their art a symbiotic union – a relationship of balance wherein objects of daily usefulness are immixed with functional art thereby nurturing the body and the soul – is that their work resurrects the ancient tradition of oral lore. Every piece has a back-story, a former life, and they take care to tell it. They take us on a tour and share the history: eclectic benches constructed from beams of former nearby barns; wine-racks revived from machinery sprockets left over from local construction sites; tables made from extinct chestnut salvaged from a turn-of-the-century schoolhouse.
The easy hour we share with Theresa and Keith at UTD leave us feeling wistful; inspired by those who relentlessly pursue artistic passion, who dare to buck convention.
You know, thattype.
|Reclaimed, fabricated and found object jewelry|
Meet Theresa Daddona-Traub and Keith Traub of Unite Two Design at the grand opening of their gallery in the village of Skaneateles on Friday, September 7, 2012 from 6 – 9 pm. See and purchase UTD Farmpunk fabrications and jewelry. Gallery location: 37 Fennel Street, Skaneateles New York.