Though he may not have made his official piece until 1986, Tucker Robbins has always been an artist; and the Connecticut native grew up with a deep appreciation for nature and beauty. As he explored the natural wonders all around him, Robbins began to realize that his true calling in life was to highlight that beauty and bring it to a more assessable realm, infusing the cultures of native tribes all over the world into decorative home furnishings that transport the imagination and are truly representational of the treasures that life affords.
With all of his pieces, the fact that Robbins feels such a deep connection to nature is unmistakable. As is the fact that he seems to let the natural elements around him guide his hand and his mind as he creates. “Nature and her materials are the inspiration for my work,” Robbins explains. “From the zigzags, which speak of rain and the beating of the waves to the woven sticks I’ve used in the armoires, I want all of it to honor the rhythm of life and reflect beauty. There is a community in the natural world that I try to integrate into my work, to communicate the majesty of life and the forces that sustain it.”
Sustainability in all aspects is crucial to Robbins. As a world traveler, he’s visited tribal communities that live close to the land and depend on its gifts to keep them going; they harvest life and celebrate nature in every way, and that has long been one of Robbins’s greatest sources of inspiration. He’s watched the hands of the tribesmen as they work and witnessed the artisans as they create, letting their processes serve as a guide in his own work as he produces pieces that he hopes embody the soul of what he has experienced first-hand.
“I’m passionate about the spirit and beauty of furniture made by skilled craftsmen who use the techniques of their ancient cultures,” Robbins says. “By using materials that are salvaged and working with people who live at the edge of the forest, who have been its caretakers for centuries, I can achieve authentic design with a spirit of its own.”
It is that passion that Robbins so effectively communicates that has made him so successful, both in the art world as well as in the mainstream, fusing form with functionality in his line of home accents and luxurious furnishings. In his skilled hands, tables, chairs, and lighting fixtures embody much more than their simple purpose as furniture, seeming to capture whole worlds and cultures into every line, color, and texture so that the eye is instantly engaged and captivated by the rich history from which they have evolved. Century upon century of craft has taught Robbins new ways to imagine a piece, each of which bear testimony to the peoples who have so greatly inspired him—the Mayans, the Aztecs, the ancients of Asia and Africa. His work thrives on their very real and raw beauty, bringing their time-honored traditions and techniques into the modern lives of a public who often forget to appreciate the inestimable value of custom and community and the ways that nature so greatly influences life at its core.
Over the course of his career, Robbins has focused greatly in giving back to these peoples who have guided his passion, establishing artisan communities in Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Philippines, Cameroon, and Indonesia. His mission of sustaining life is fully exemplified through collaboration with these indigenous communities, and through his own creations, he sustains their spirit, bringing worlds together and breaching the barriers of time.
For more information on Tucker Robbins, visit his online gallery at www.tuckerrobbins.com or shop the collection at Anne Hunter Galleries, located at 25 Central Square, Seaside, FL 32549 and online at www.annehuntergalleries.com