Forage Modern Workshop

Fragments of a Home + Ouecha

Kelsie GerstlComment

Featured: Ouecha

Christina and Frank Lyon share a multidisciplinary practice which spans music, clothing, design, and sundry spaces that evade description. Their editions can be experienced most comprehensively via a project called OUECHA / WAY - CHA which will open a show at Forage the first weekend in November. In the meantime you can keep current with them on Instagram: @ouechapohs + @ouecha

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What does Home mean to you?

A place to play our flutes?

If one thinks of the World as home, then feeling there can be almost anywhere. But, with that thinking an occasional sense of homelessness can also occur with some frequency. Getting a feel for the middle ground between those poles has emerged as a fundamental theme in both of our lives. Some people experience a very clear sense of home where they were born, and others seem to be born under the star of homelessness, fated happily or sadly to a nomadic path. To us it feels more cyclical, like the push and pull of tides; a benevolent and often random sequence of feelings that refresh our sense of wonder, and also visit upon familiarity for its sweet sense of safety. We have felt at home in so many places, Arizona, Minnesota, Scotland, New York, Finland, Los Angeles, Mexico ... I never felt at home in San Francisco, although I wanted to. I don't think home is fantastical -- there is something deliciously plain about home for me. Metaphorically speaking, I never wanted to join the circus. That is probably most clearly what it "means."

or

Home is fall. The string of moments when you sense peacefully your own mortality and the drift toward rejoining everything more clearly.

and

Home is a place with many frisbees.

Talk about an item/items in your home that you love most and why.

Rock Collection : I grew up on Lake Michigan, and would walk the beaches a lot to uncover special rocks which I would later present in a market of sorts with my friends. Right before the trading would take place, I would dip the rocks in water to enhance their coloring.

My deep fondness for rocks has me collecting all over the place. Some of my faves come from my friend Eliza's family house on the Long Island sound.  Very early in my courtship with Frank, I had my mind set on bringing him back a rock from Old Field but in doing so I put waaay too much pressure on myself, and the rock. I was freaking and Eliza was trying to help me and, after some time and with a mix of faith and exasperation, I reached into the sand and found the wildest looking specimen -- smooth, green, with all kinds of white perfect circles.  It was so handsome, I didn't even need to wet it. 

I later learned that John Cage was a big collector of rocks, and that made so much sense to me.  I have an orange one I carry with me at all times.  I call it the Magic Rock and it has brought great luck to some.  I rub it on planes so that the cosmos don't send us crashing from the sky.  Rocks are powerful!

Record Collection : The home as an intimate place and a container is quite ideal for acoustic experiments. A dynamic collection of music, and in this case records, is indispensable in exploring the physical and poetic character of your house. We love our collection more with each passing day for the freedom, beauty, and inspiration it provides us.

Czech Modern Children's Table Set : This was one of the first, and only, fine pieces of furniture I've approached and purchased as more of a collector. I love its childlike design, its strange balances and mysterious sophistication and grace.

Blue Head : A wonderful old couple brought me in off the street in Cobble Hill, New York promising me records and then sent me away with a blue sculpture of a woman's head that the matriarch had made years ago. It's a rare thing to be invited into a stranger's home and leave with a piece of their art. I feel the head has been very "now" for a long time... now.


What is your favorite source/sources for interior design inspiration? or Where do you find inspiration for your home?

The internet is the ultimate place to mediate your fantasies these days, but as we referenced earlier, we get a lot of obscure energy from music.  Particularly, the way that music, as a both an occupant and suggestion of atmosphere, can become a score for interior design. 

Also :

Alvar + Aino Aalto's residence / studio in Helsinki --> we went there on our honeymoon

Czech Modernism :  It often feels torqued on the axis of classicism and something more eccentric . . .  true love. 

John Cage --> plants / rocks / music / food / playfulness

Film : Eric Rohmer! We will never stop . . .

Spaces of friends : tangible + intangible


What is your favorite room and why?

Our L shaped living room / dining room

The light is amazing and changes softly throughout the day. We're also just beginning to understand what it means "to live the L," its central pivot offers at least two different programmatic axes towards the stereo/bookcase and the dining table. There is actually a third as well when you consider the fireplace and everything it includes as an experience and practice. There's enough space for 10+ people to visit, share cheer and devastation, practice yoga . . . plus, a view of a booming birch tree with a placenta nourishing it below; also, a portal piece by @toreyerin  !

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If you could move anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Some seasonal combo of Helsinki --> Mexico City --> Twin Cities --> Duluth, maybe Montreal or Japan.  We've given some thought to Portugal.


Where are your favorite places to shop for home-related items?

Besides Forage . . .

estate sales

Frank's parents + grandmother Mimi 

friends who make things 

thrift stores all over the world

Prague Kolektiv (now defunct)

There is really no better discovery than finding something you love in someone else's trash; the abject in general is simply an astonishing way to casually expand one's taste --> mobilized fondness! (Wayne Koestenbaum)


What are some of your favorite items from Forage that you have in your home?

Kush candle : This travels from our living room to our bedroom, walking past it and catching a whiff can adjust your attitude.

Hay cheese platter :  A Christmas gift to Frank, cheese is big in our family and we love how distinctly off-brand it is in the world of cheese; there is such a thing as too much heritage, and its otherworldly iridescence communicates that positively!

Mutto sofa : Our couch. we love our couch.  A gift to ourselves after getting through the first six months of parenthood; the softness is palpable in person, and even in cyber space. When we Air B+B our place, there is always a conversation about our pink prize, and how not to spill on it. :-)  Two guests actually touched our Rocks For Photography and then sat on it -- bad move, guys!

Erin Lee Smith lamp : A Christmas gift to Christina: our living room doesn't have much lighting, and the size and shape of this was perfect for us to put onto our built in book shelf. We love yellow, we loved its texture and personality, and the cord brings back cherished memories of phones.

S pillow : the perfect augmenter for our son Issa --> Lygia Clark therapies --> Peter Sloterdijk

Current Forage wish list?

Orange Vessel 11 painting  : so sweety

Small Circle Post Earring by There There Collective

Hay Tray For Bread  : I wasn't even really sure what this was, which is always a good place to start.

Glasses : Well, I love a big cup. I love to fill up a big cup with water or tea.  And, they just have a pretty light air about them. Slightly aquatic, slightly diaphanous.

3D Zip Set : for packing ! I am going on my first solo trip with my 14 month old son Issa to Mexico City, and an orderly suitcase could really grease our wheels.

The whole vintage collection curated by Sara Tonko is always refreshing and subtle, she has a great eye and way of interpreting color and design and  s t y l e  , straight up.

(To shop Ouecha's picks, click on the images below.)