Wickiworld: Bells Are Ringing

About the author: Wickham Boyle, known as Wicki, has written for The New York Times, National Geographic, and other publications. She was a founder of CODE and ThriveNYC magazine, executive director of LaMaMa theater, and author of A Mother’s Essays From Ground Zero (2001), which debuted as an opera in 2008. She has an MBA from Yale and worked as a Wall Street stockbroker. At Memory & Movement, she writes about memorizing poems while walking along the Hudson.

Lai Montesca is a ceramicist, a Buddhist, a designer, a terrace gardener, a keeper of a Tribeca rabbit named Nick, and much more. She has lived in Tribeca for 20-plus years and has been interested in 3-D design for even longer. (We both make our creations—hers fabulous, mine plodding—at Chambers Pottery.)

Montesca has worked creating ceramics for sale in upscale downtown shops like Global Table in Soho and Room on N. Moore. She has also been a graphic designer for over 25 years. But until the opening of her show at Re:Creative, she had not found a way to unite her disparate skills and cravings. “I wanted to do something that was literally off the wall,” she says. “And here it is.”

Located at 116 Chambers, Re:Creative is a multi-disciplinary design firm with a wide array of experience—from corporate identity and communications to direct marketing design to fine arts, education, and entertainment materials. Montesca and Re:Creative met when they both shared office space with design guru Edwin Schlossberg. Now Montesca has opened a site-specific installation, called “Re:Sound,” in Re:Creative’s conference room. It’s on view by appointment through August. [I neglected to post this in time for the Thursday opening. Sorry! —Ed.]

There are three pieces in the show, which roughly translate into: a mobile of wind chimes; a study of bells, but the Asian kind with no internal striker—they must be struck in order to sound; and contained sound, akin to a ceramic rattle. Each piece is designed to be touched and sounded. “In Buddhist thought, sounding chimes or bells summons the soul,” says Montesca. “I hope for nothing less.”


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