Editor’s Miscellany: ABX Show Treasure Hunt

By Kyle Hoepner

This week (ending this afternoon, actually) is the ArchitectureBostonExpo (ABX) 2013 trade show at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Run by the Boston Society of Architects, ABX is New England’s largest annual building industry event. Although many exhibitors at the show are geared more toward commercial construction (take a walk around the hall and you’ll see lots of closed-cell insulation, window systems, HVAC products, and so on), there are obvious overlaps with New England Home’s area of interest—so I spent some time cruising the aisles to see what intriguing things would turn up.

1. Backlit Corian wall panels from Eco-ficient. The company mostly makes metal wall and roof panels for commercial buildings, but I can easily see these beauties used for a dramatic foyer wall or some other residential application.

2. Soho rug from Landry & Arcari. Hand-knotted from hand-spun Tibetan wool and silk, this rug is part of a new Wool and Silk Collection from Nepal, for which Landry & Arcari will be the exclusive New England representative.

3. Decorative panels from Kolman Artisan Glass. Connie Kolman deploys a panoply of materials—glass, papers, paints, foils, and resins—in her Sudbury, Massachusetts, studio to create custom art pieces as well as glass panels for use in furniture and architectural settings.

4. Porcelanosa Stylker Dark ceramic tile. A very large (17 by 26 inches!), many-hued tile whose fascinating color gradations are produced by a laser printing process. I can imagine luxuriating in a shower-steamroom with walls, floor, and ceiling all clad in these shimmering grays. (And a visit to the new Porcelanosa showroom at the Boston Design Center is overdue, I think.)

5. Custom door hardware from Needham Decorative Hardware. Owner Jon Shufro very obligingly walked me through the process of designing one of their custom collections, produced in conjunction with Rocky Mountain Hardware. This particular set was dreamed up for clients who wanted a sea-life theme for their oceanfront home.

6. Ashfield Stone, schist from western Massachusetts. The booth was untended when I happened to walk by, but a wall full of glorious textures beckoned all the same.

7. New work from noted glass artist Tom Patti. Finally, I was surprised and delighted to run into glass artist Tom Patti, whose work we featured not long ago in New England Home. Building on the success of a recent commission, Tom is now launching a line of custom glass panels that are not only gorgeous, but offer other, usefully practical qualities such as sound dampening, light capturing, and solar control.

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