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“How Does it Look?”

Building on the Design Legacy of Larry Kornegay

Located in Phoenix, Arizona, Kornegay Design is dedicated to creating original, timeless designs realized through exceptional craftsmanship.

On the whiteboard in a back room of the Kornegay Design studio in Phoenix, Arizona, reads the succinct mantra, “How does it look?” The deceptively simple phrase, jot down years ago by artist, designer, and founder, Larry Kornegay, remains a fixture on the umber walls of the neatly appointed and immaculately landscaped desert studio.

“It may seem a bit blunt for a design-oriented company, but the spirit behind it lives in all we do,” describes Josh Fletcher, Operations Group Leader at Kornegay Design. “The principle of beauty above all extends far beyond our products to guide everything here, from the visuals in our advertising, to the way we maintain our property, even the way we organize the tools in our shop.”

Founded in 1997 by husband and wife team Larry and Paula Kornegay, Kornegay Design has earned a reputation among landscape architects for its elegant design language, acute attention to detail, and inventive sustainable practices in the production of large-scale handcrafted cast concrete site furnishings.

The by-hand casting process has been refined over the years to allow for unsurpassed quality control with minimal waste and environmental impact.
Aspect is a four-sided cast concrete landscape container with minimal, architectural style and simple shadow line at base – one of the first products introduced after the acquisition by Landscape Forms.

“Larry is a true artist and personal inspiration of mine.”

– Josh Fletcher, Operations Group Leader, Kornegay Design

When Larry Kornegay wanted to return to sculpting and other fine art projects in 2017, Kornegay Design was acquired by Landscape Forms with the intention of honoring and expanding the founder’s creative spirit. "We were always inspired by Larry because he was a fine artist from day one,” says Landscape Forms Chief Creative Officer, Kirt Martin. "He lives and embodies the design lifestyle—it’s at his core, it’s evident in everything he creates. We want to preserve and evolve that legacy in our leadership, specifically through the development of our Visiting Artists Program at Kornegay Design.”

The Visiting Artists Program, the first major initiative enacted at Kornegay Design under Martin’s leadership, expands on Larry Kornegay’s creative legacy. "We want Kornegay Design products to continue to be imagined, designed, and created by fine artists,” says Martin. “Yes, Kornegay Design creates functional pieces, but we want each and every piece to continue to be beautiful works of art marked by a sense of purity and integrity, and an absence of pretense —the same qualities that Larry brings to his own work.”

The curing process begins inside the mold and continues in the open air once the mold is removed. Cure time varies depending on the temperature and humidity, as well as other environmental factors.
Kornegay Design’s products are more than quality handcrafted site furnishings; they are sculptural elements that enhance any environment.

The first collaborator to join the Visiting Artists Program was Ian McDonald, one of today’s most highly regarded potters and current Head of Ceramics at the renowned Cranbrook Academy of Art. McDonald's work plays at the distinctive intersection of sculpture and craft, ranging from traditional vessels to free-form sculpture and mixed-media installations. With Kornegay Design, however, he wanted to challenge himself to create something truly unique. “I don’t think it would be very interesting to just take something of mine, enlarge it, and transform the material,” McDonald says. “Rather, I wanted to take the vocabulary I use to approach the objects I make and use it to guide new concepts that are large in scale, exploring material possibility and embracing the outdoor space.” The graceful and sculptural Offset series of landscape containers, the first product of McDonald’s collaboration with Kornegay Design, lives up to that promise.

Following Ian McDonald in the Visiting Artists Program is Claudia Issa, a São Paulo-based artist and designer who left a successful 20-year career in art direction and graphic design to pursue her passion for ceramics, finding renewed inspiration in the hands-on manipulation of tactile media. Claudia Issa’s work often incorporates elements of intentional imperfection, creating nontraditional beauty out of traditionally discarded materials and organic, asymmetrical forms. "Sometimes I take a piece of clay, I knead it and the shape comes up. It is my hands that ‘think' and I let it be so to see what will arise,” describes Issa. "I find it beautiful that something imperfect can stubbornly show itself as it is, imposing its own beauty, breaking with standards.” Claudia Issa’s line with Kornegay Design is currently underway and is set to be released in October, 2020.

“Working with Claudia Issa and Ian McDonald has been instrumental in our mission to grow and evolve the amazing brand that is Kornegay Design without losing the artistic soul it’s founded on,” says Kirt Martin. "For example, I find the new seating element that Claudia is currently working on to be very moving and inspiring—it’s at once very Kornegay Design, very evocative of the brand, but also a fresh expression of her artistic vision and global experiences.”

“Claudia, Ian, and the other artists who will follow them are our North Stars in inspiring a broader offering and defining an exciting new future for Kornegay Design,” Martin continues. “The expanded use of materials, the widened palettes, the unique new creative sensibilities will contribute to a design language that’s more diverse and more globally relevant, while still staying true to Larry’s legacy. That’s the path forward for Kornegay Design, and we couldn’t be more excited.”


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