Philip Renderer is a bartender at Seven Grand in downtown LA. Philip is showcasing his furniture designs to the public for the first time at Art Beyond the Glass II.
How long have you been a bartender at Seven Grand?
I've been a bartender at Seven Grand for almost two years. Before that I was in Lake Placid, New York, at a place called the Charcoal Pit and another place called Pete’s Steak House. I've been in the service industry since I was 19. I've done everything from dishwashing to bussing, banquets, serving fine dining and bartending all along the way.
How did you get into furniture design?
My father has been running his own upholstery business for over 30 years, he taught me the art. I worked with him in New York (where his business is now) for almost seven years, and before I moved to LA he gave me his version of a Masters Degree in upholstery. After setting up my own shop here in downtown LA and not being too inspired to be reupholstering furniture, I got the idea to start designing and upholstering my own style of furniture and this excited me. I've seen and upholstered it all, from antique to modern and Danish, my vision was to create my own category! And this is what I've been doing ever since.
What was your first piece?
My first creation is called The Wave, originally it was going to be a sofa with a big wave for the back, but as I have learned my creations evolve until completion.
What is your creative process?
First I get an idea, then I have to gather the materials, from the structure I'm going to use to all of the fabrics and everything else I might need. Believe it or not, this takes the longest, sometimes a month, but I enjoy [this part of the process] the most. Once I have all of the materials, and depending on the details, I can finish a piece in a couple weeks. I always like to have a project going, and depending on the piece and my life, I spend at least 15 hours a week [on furniture]—sometimes more, sometimes less.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find my inspiration in nature and my own imagination. My influences are all artists and I want to make a positive effect on the world.
What are your goals with your art?
My goal is to make a name for myself in the furniture world. I believe in balance and don’t want to do anything full time, but I am very excited about what I'm doing and would love to be able to make a living creating furniture.
Photos courtesy of Philip Renderer.