“Everything just fell into place,” says Mark Marynick, new owner of Casci, a near-century-old plasterworks studio based in Dallas. “What we do is like sculpting water,” he explains, noting that plasterwork is a skill that takes many years to learn.
With his core team of about 10, many of whom have been a part of Casci for decades, Marynick is breathing new life into the beloved company.
Here, he opens up about the people who inspire him, his latest reads and more.
Tell us about a piece that turned out differently than how you expected.
Typically, many people partake in our creative process and projects take many twists, turns, starts and stops, so I’ve learned to just sit back and–something I learned from NFL coach Jason Garrett–trust the process.
What’s one vacation you’d like to take for inspiration? Why?
Kiev. Central Europe has some of the most spectacular plaster workers in the world. So far, it’s the only source I’ve found of truly inspirational work. Much like our shop, the city has a lot of truly unique, custom pieces handmade by craftsmen and ranging in style.
Which three people, dead or alive, would you invite to your dream dinner party and why?
The British designer Sir Paul Smith. Truly brilliant, playful, strong, grounded and a good colorist. I think he could hold a good conversation.
Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard. Obsessed with quality and making things that last. But also represents my interest in the outdoors and nature, conservation and preservation. I love how this man runs his business. Quality speaks volumes.
Sienna Miller. That would be a dream come true. That’s why.
What was the last thing you personally cooked in your kitchen? How’d it turn out?
My special version of ratatouille. Still not sure I’m making it right, but I am making it delicious! Simple, savory, sweet. Natural organic local veggies and tomato sauce from a neighborhood Italian market.
My ultimate dream home would not be complete without…
A large stately greenhouse that doubles as a home for a Doberman and a Weimaraner. Nothing more stately and regal than a pair of striking and athletic canines with a steel-framed glasshouse ornamented in Casci-made cast-stone pieces.
The artist (or other creative) I look up to the most is…
Nancy Mitchnick, a Detroit artist. Nancy was my art professor at Harvard. … Every student had to interview with her and her assistant to audition for the class. I was certain it was a “no,” for me, but I had to try. Sure enough, she gave me a chance and that allowed me to take a number of other art studio courses. It saved my life. I was a former athlete needing a creative outlet, and she gave it to me.
Tell us about your all-time favorite book.
The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss. My aunt Phyllis, who was a professor and department head at George Washington University, gave it to me when I was a young adult. She told me it was one of her favorites. It’s an amazingly simple illustration of how some of our prejudices are completely silly. We’re all just people trying to make it in a crazy world.
The most interesting book or article I’ve read in the past month was probably…
“Organic Matter” in the September/October 2017 edition of Luxe Interiors + Design. This article is a profile of Joan Winter, who, along with my mother, was one of the earliest influencers of my creative life. Joan and my mother, Sharon Marynick, put together an annual summer art camp for neighborhood friends. It was fun to see what Joan has been up to. I’m so proud of her accomplishments as a professional artist. It’s such a small world!