It wasn’t long before he’d embarked on his Icon series of translucent buildings, to which Hi 5 Taxi Cab belongs—works that can be found from Copenhagen to Hoboken to Buenos Aires and beyond. Many of the Icons move around from site to site, but the series’s most famous exemplars are two “water towers” installed on top of Brooklyn buildings. Fruin put lighting systems into them so they would glow and pulse at night—and even Hi 5 has a single lamp inside, “like a fire in the fireplace,” he says.
Originally sited at New York’s South Street Seaport, Hi 5 Taxi Cab joins several other Fruin structures this winter as part of the “Enchanted Forest of Light,” a holiday feature of Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge, California.
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The artist fell in love with her medium when a traveling exhibit of paper art came to Jersey. “I loved the fact that it was only paper, and that they were completely transforming it and telling a story,” she says. For the viewer to appreciate the stories told by Where We All Meet requires clear exterior light and crisp shadow. “It’s placed in a corridor, and the lighting and shadows change throughout the day, like in a normal city. That means that it’s never static, which is what I like about working in 3D. It’s important to me to make an experience rather than just an object.”
*1 Correction Letter from Ted Lott:
First, let me express gratitude for the inclusion of my work, Carpenter Gothic #2, in Jon Spayde’s article “Light Houses” in the Winter 2024 issue. Of the few magazines I subscribe to, I'm most delighted to discover copies of American Craft in my mailbox, and it's a great honor to be featured inside.
I do want to offer for the record a slight correction. While I believe, as was quoted, that stud-framing is an amazing invention, I would not go so far as to say it takes "more skill than post-and-beam." Indeed, one of the most valuable features of stud-frame construction is its accessibility. A reasonably handy person can pick up a set of simple tools and build a basic stud-frame structure without years of training. It is a democratized way of building.
Of course there are degrees of difficulty to any task, and while the inclusion of nonlinear surfaces creates additional levels of challenge, the same would be true of a curved post-and-beam.
A small correction, but an important distinction.
Thank you for your work highlighting the many-faceted community of artists, makers, and more. I eagerly watch my mailbox in anticipation for the next issue!
—Ted Lott, Grand Rapids, Michigan