“There was something absent from (my prior business career) for me. I like to work with my hands and create things. I draw and paint and have always had the soul of an artist. (Design) combines both of those interests for me — my business skill as well as the creative side,” Wilson said.
Wilson, who took classes on design in college, pursued a business degree instead. Her earlier working career required travel and landed her in Europe for seven years.
“(Design) is a good match to my previous work experience. Even though I was in the financial sector, I was always focused on business development or product development for financial services,” Wilson said.
When she moved to Atlanta with husband Pete, a Delta pilot, Wilson stayed at home to raise her children Sam, now 17, and Meg, 16. She pursued her artistic interests as a hobby and through volunteer work. “I’ve always maintained my interest in art and design,” she said. “Now I’m looking forward. I have more time.”
When the Interiors Program of Chattahoochee Tech moved to the Mountain View campus near her home, Wilson enrolled in fall 2011.
“I got swept into it,” said Wilson, 52.
Wilson’s Patrice chair, designed for a space at Chattahoochee Tech, won a student design contest sponsored by High Point Industries of High Point, N.C. The chair, with its cylindrical leg in a brushed stainless or chrome finish, is described as simple in line but intricate in design and detail.
High Point built a prototype shown this month at NeoCon, the largest tradeshow for commercial design in North America.
“They’re building a second prototype, and they’re also extending it and adding a matching loveseat and from there they’re developing a color marketing piece. That’s really exciting,” she said.
After winning the High Point contest, Wilson entered the same chair as well as a table in a national contest held by the Institute for Classical Architecture and Art. She swept the competition, winning best chair design, best table design and the grand overall design award.
“(ICCA’s) focus is on advocacy of classical architecture. My chair does have some classical features even though it is more of a contemporary design. It has some classical roots in the form, and the shape and the geometry of the chair,” said Wilson, who is working with the ICAA for a prototype of her table.
“I felt like there was some crossover and that (the chair) could be used in a residential setting. I’m excited that they were able to appreciate the design as well,” she said.
For more information about Chattahoochee Technical College, call (770) 528-4545 or visit www.ChattahoocheeTech.edu.