Drawing from his combined rural and urban upbringing, Charlie is inspired by the juxtaposition of the natural and industrial. “I like the idea of the natural beating out the industrial, of vines taking over a building, of rust forming on metal and moss sprouting between the cracks of bricks on a walkway,” he says. “In my work I often combine the clean, straight lines of the man-made with the haphazard lines of nature. When I’m creating a piece or designing a space, I prefer to go with the natural colors and textures of raw materials- metal, wood, stone- instead of covering them with paint or other coatings.”
The son of a landscape architect and a fine art and fashion photographer, Charlie Baker was born and raised on the Upper East Side of New York and grew up spending summers at his family’s home on Shelter Island. As a small boy, he showed an early appreciation for nature, and could often be found creating outdoor environments for tortoises, or throwing himself into a school history assignment by creating an authentic Iroquois lodge with pieces of bent twigs and bark.
Charlie attended the Taft School in Connecticut and received his degree in Spanish Literature from Washington & Lee University in Virginia. Soon after graduating, Charlie decided to combine his passion for nature with his love of art and design by pursuing a career in creative building. He studied landscape design at the New York Botanical Garden and honed his skills in stone masonry and carpentry at Ash Stone & Garden. He then went on to work as a designer and project manager for Plant Specialists, where he specialized in high-end rooftop and terrace gardens.