Marsia Holzer is someone with an amazing imagination; one that is evident by the characters that the designer spent twenty years creating for rock icons such as Elvis, the Rolling Stones, and Pink Floyd. The British-born Holzer grew up on a farm in Hertfordshire and her father was Lord Mayor of London. Combine her uncharacteristic upbringing and her career choice, it is no wonder that Holzer has become a sought-after sculptor and furniture designer.
Holzer’s background is fascinating… she was inspired by the Rolling Stone’s “Route 66” and moved from England to New York City in 1965. Completely broke, she convinced Bert Stern, a celebrity photographer she met at a gallery opening, to hire her. At Stern’s suggestion, Holzer became a stylist for his shoots, using her personal collection of vintage clothing if necessary. Three years later, the designer moved to Los Angles where she met the Rolling Stones and became their “designer of choice.”
In 1998, twenty years into her career as a “celebrity designer,” Holzer felt the draw to turn her focus to sculpting and furniture design. She decided to learn how to weld, something she wanted to learn in college however it was not available to her. Out of that new endeavor, Marsia Holzer Studio was created as a custom furniture studio that specializes in metalwork and pieces from recycled and salvaged wood. The industry’s top interior designers and architects appreciate the fact that Holzer values sustainability by using wood she forages herself… usually from organically uprooted trees.
Holzer is a master at finding fallen, exotic wood to create slabs for her tables. Once the top is decided upon, she handcrafts bronze, steel or glass as a base. She always remains cautious that the wood retain the tree’s natural shape. The kayaking she does outside her Water Mill woodworking studio in the Hamptons has been fruitful in finding salvageable wood. When she is not on the water, Holzer scours the beaches for driftwood that she sends to a foundry in Scotland to be cast in metal. These unique casts often serve as bases for table or floor lamps which are complimented with drum shades from either Irish linen or parchment.
Holzer loves the collaborative process that occurs as she works with clients to select a slab of wood, to find the perfect base and finish to complete the project. The designer credits her former career as the inspiration behind her one-of-a-kind designs which are filled with imagination and customization.
When figuring out if a whole tree that she stumbles upon was going to “work out,” Holzer says (courtesy of New York Social Diary), “When I go to Costa Rica I go with a couple of Costa Rican guys with machetes and they cut pieces. But you don’t know until you get in the wood yard and cut it. The exciting thing is the wood inside, the grain. Nature is the creator – we’re just putting it up on a pedestal and saying, ‘Look at this!’” With many such experiences under her belt, Holzer’s pieces look amazingly thought-out and accomplished. At an age when most people are contemplating retirement, she is imagining the “next great thing”… and for that we are thankful!