Looking back on a transitional year for commercial real estate in Aspen’s downtown core, one of the most inspiring stories to emerge is that of Maker + Place, an innovative retail showcase selling handcrafted home wares from around the world. The collective even caught the eye of the Sotheby’s Auction House, presenting an exclusive, online-only auction of contemporary décor.

First opening in a temporary location last summer, Maker + Place has a new home at 614 E. Cooper Ave.

An artist herself, Maker + Place founder and creative director Michaela Carpenter has already filled a much-needed void for the next generation of local go-getters. At just 23 years old, the Aspen High School alumna and graduate of Chelsea College of Art and Design in London has created a thriving artisan collective over the past six months, which also offers an artist-in-residence studio, a lecture and workshop series, and mentorship opportunities.

Photo courtesy of Sotheby's.

The exclusive, collaborative e-auction with Sotheby’s Auction House ran from January 5th - 22nd, 2018. Maker + Place Presents: Contemporary Objects Online featured a curated collection from in-house artisans that Carpenter personally enlisted to commission pieces for this unique partnership including vessels, textiles, and furniture.

“The shared passions and values of the Sotheby’s Auction House and Maker + Place brands create an energetic collection,” says Carpenter. “We are so excited to be able to showcase the work of our makers, their skill sets, and their understanding of great design.”

For the Sotheby’s Auction House, 2017 was also a year of innovation with its digital auctions seeing a record number of new clients—its top lots spanning jewelry, contemporary art, old masters, furniture, books, and Chinese paintings. In total, more than $500 million of online bids were received.

This month, for the first time ever, the Sotheby’s Auction House introduces Maker + Place as a leading curator of contemporary pieces that have a connection to traditions and values of craftsmanship, and as a marker for the future of design.

“We’re delighted to partner with Maker + Place to present this auction which was specifically curated for Sotheby’s,” says Olivia Hunt, Sotheby’s Auction House eCommerce manager. “The sale celebrates the art of craftsmanship with pieces carefully selected from emerging designers.”

We caught up with Carpenter ahead of the auction launch for a sneak peek at some of her favorites pieces and their makers:

Photo courtesy of Sotheby's.

White Totem Collection - Giselle Hicks

“Giselle Hicks is a local and works at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village. A lot of her work can be found in our store and each is one-of-a-kind.”

Photo courtesy of Sotheby's.

Fawn Blanket Set - Clarity Fornell

“Clarity Fornell, daughter of developer Peter Fornell, is a born and raised Aspen local, who has devoted her study and life to weaving and is a maker-in-residence at Maker+Place. Everyone is welcome to come visit her while she works at her in-store studio and commission custom designs and products.”

Photo courtesy of Sotheby's.

The Cherry Chair - Carter Hopkins

Carter Hopkins also works at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village and has collaborated with Maker + Place on various projects. “This piece is truly spectacular,” says Carpenter.

For an expanded interview between the Sotheby’s Auction House and Carpenter, click here to visit the Sotheby’s Auction House blog, “Discover Emerging and One-of-a-Kind Designers from Maker + Place.”


Click here to visit the Maker + Place website.


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