September 7th, 2021 Newsletter

September 7th, 2021 Newsletter

Artisan Spotlight: Wade Lanphier...Introducing Cosanti Drops...Touches of Cosanti Originals at New Fine Dining Restaurant


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Artful, One-of-a-Kind Gifts

Handmade Decor Pieces

and So Much More


September 7th, 2021 Volume 18

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Wade Lanphier

Laborer of Love


“When I first started 18 years ago, I didn’t think I would fit in,” Assistant Foundry Manager Wade Lanphier admits, “but it wasn’t long before my coworkers started to feel like my family.”


He’d never worked in a foundry before, but the newspaper ad had stated that it was “a labor-intensive job” and Wade was a hard worker. “I’d always been a blue-collar guy,” says Wade, who’d just retired from a long career with a transportation company and a short stint as a hot dog stand owner, “so I knew that I’d be fine at the physical part of the job. What I didn’t know was that I would become an artist.”

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Like most of the artisans at Cosanti in Paradise Valley, Wade is a vital part of a team, willing to wear different hats to do whatever needs to be done in the production cycle of creating windbells one-at-a-time. “I do everything, but I do like the design work best,” Wade shared. “I was taught to reflect Cosanti’s architecture in my work.” When creating his designs, he tries to mirror or interpret the unique structures he works around and within on a smaller scale. As a result, his designs often feature lines, circles, curves, and other abstract shapes, positioned next to one another in the most beautiful of ways.


Almost every artisan has a favorite bell they enjoy creating. For Wade, it’s model #120. “It has a large, beautifully curved surface, so my design can look really impressive...especially when Greg did his incredible burnished finish on it,” he adds, speaking fondly of a fellow artisan. Wade says that he is consistently driven to make pieces of art that someone will be proud to own. “I’m inspired by the idea that someone will see my windbell, think ‘that’s the one,’ and take it home, treasuring what I’ve made,” he says, humbly.

Photo credits (all 3): David Blakeman

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A New Restaurant by Christopher Gross Blends Arizona History, French-Inspired Cuisine and Artful Tableware by Two Cosanti Originals Artisans

Over the past year, ceramicist Spencer Smith has handmade ceramic tiles by the hundreds. Individually created with designs ranging from cacti and botanicals to geometric shapes and abstract patterns and glazed in a natural color palette of greens, blues, oranges, and browns, most of her work has been sold in the Cosanti Originals gallery, often within hours of being displayed for sale. But some of Spencer's work has been expressly for custom tile projects, one of which was a commission by chef Christopher Gross to create wine coasters for his latest restaurant, Christopher’s at the Wrigley Mansion.

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The James Beard award-winning chef, an Arizona native, visited Cosanti for the first time just last year. “I had heard many things about Cosanti growing up, but it was wonderful to finally visit the space, ring the bells, and really learn the history,” Christopher says of his guided tour, “it’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.”

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It is not hard to feel a connection to Arizona in Christopher’s at the Wrigley Mansion. The restaurant occupies an entirely new footprint adjacent to the original mansion and its 180-degree views of the Valley emphasize those surroundings much the way the table settings celebrate the artisans who live here. Christopher’s features handmade dishes, cutlery, and serving ware created by artisans throughout the state, making his new culinary venture feel authentic, creative, and distinctly Arizonan.


Chef Gross encouraged Spencer to develop her own design concept for the project. “Christopher gave me a sense of his vision and I ran with it,” Spencer says, “it was fun to use my own creativity and draw inspiration from the architecture surrounding me at Cosanti.” Spencer created 40 ceramic wine coasters in all, complete with cork rests, for the restaurant’s wine presentation. Chef Gross also worked with Cosanti Originals bronze artisan, Chris Hardy, to create domed cloches (plate covers) out of bronze. Resembling the rounded bell shapes Cosanti is known for, the cloches have a hidden clapper inside that actually rings when it is lifted off the plate, to the delighted surprise of diners. “Christopher’s at the Wrigley Mansion is all about Arizona, and Cosanti is very much a part of Arizona’s history,” says Chef Gross, “I had a vision and the artisans I worked with took it to the next level. We’re creating an experience that will appeal to all of the senses.”

Photo credits (top to bottom): Chloe Sykes (top), Courtesy of Christopher's at The Wrigley Mansion (bottom 2)

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Artisanti Editor & Creative Director: Kelly Bird

Contributing Writer: Chloe Sykes

Graphic Designer: Jesca Wales

Header image photo credit: David Blakeman; footer image photo credit: Jessica Jameson Photo