Editor’s Miscellany: Shopping the Aisles

By Kyle Hoepner

A few weeks back I promised a follow-up, not-just-people-from-New-England post about some of the interesting and beautiful items encountered at this year’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) and WantedDesign shows in New York. So here it is, idiosyncratic and unordered as the selection may be: simply a handful of things I hope you will enjoy seeing as much as I did. To keep the list manageable, I’m sticking to furniture and lighting for now; other items—and there were plenty—may continue to show up occasionally in future posts.

Visiting from the opposite coast for WantedDesign, furniture maker Alexander Purcell Rodrigues introduced his Cartesian collection of sleek, faceted aluminum chairs.

Photo from alexanderpurcellrodrigues.com

These handmade(!) birchwood lamps are by Finnish architect Seppo Koho for Secto Design.

Photo from sectodesign.fi

Then there’s this little table lamp from Kiki Van Eijk’s Matrice collection for Cristalleries de Saint-Louis. I’m not sure exactly why it splits open down the middle, but somehow I’m very glad it does.

Photo from 2013.wanteddesignnyc.com

Meanwhile, up the avenue at the ICFF, one could see a split of a different sort. If you have any Deco-inspired projects coming up, you may be interested in the Synapse pendant from Apparatus. Its playful bisected glass sphere, with a brass orb floating between the halves, makes a dramatic statement.

Photo from apparatusstudio.com

If something more delicate would better suit your lighting fancy, you may prefer to check out Patrick Townsend’s SuperString series.

Patrick Townsend Orbit forty-bulb chandelier. Photo from patricktownsend.com

And running across Pablo’s Cielo hanging light reminded me once again of the wonderful possibilities opened up by recent LED technology.

Photo from pablodesigns.com

When it came to furniture I must clearly have been in a certain mood; at any rate, clean, stripped down, somewhat constructivist-looking pieces kept showing up in my notes. Two examples came from North Carolina’s Skram Furniture Company. Their Drop coffee table captures a Volakas marble top in three blackened steel prongs…

Photo from skramfurniture.com

…and their Piedmont conference table would add some welcome streamlining to almost any meeting I can think of.

Photo from skramfurniture.com

I’ve mentioned him before, either on this blog or on Facebook, but I was taken once again by the way Patrick Weder’s furniture confines voluptuous, organic wood grain in a thin, severe modernist framework of steel, concrete or Corian.

Walnut bench with patinated steel legs. Photo from patrickweder.com

Filed in the “quietly luxe” category were the pieces by Fairtlough, many of which made painstaking use of inlaid parchment, shagreen, feathers or various exotic skins.

Caragh mirror with pheasant feathers and mahogany trim. Photo from fairtlough.com

Airy console table with python-skin top. Photo from fairtlough.com

And finally, there were a few other New England companies I didn’t manage to mention last time, but who shouldn’t be left out.

Sara Ossana and Jonathan Glatt from Rhode Island’s O&G Studio were in aisle 800 at the ICFF, showing pieces from two new collaborative lines they are introducing. One is a series of mirrors in conjunction with Hawaii designer Andrew Mau…

O&G’s Moana mirror. Photo courtesy of O&G Studio

…and another is a series of hand-dyed textiles, created by Oklahoma’s Meg Callahan, that are perfect made into cushions for O&G’s wood furniture (especially when the wood is finished in the lichen-gray stain shown at their booth).

O&G’s Atlantic Lowback settee with a custom cushion in Arcadia fabric. Photo courtesy of O&G Studio

(Advisory: O&G’s Sara and Jonathan are two of our 5 Under 40 award winners for this year. It’s not too early to make plans to help us celebrate them and their design compatriots at the big event on September 12.)

And, speaking of 5 Under 40 winners from Rhode Island, Studio Dunn was located just around the corner in the next aisle, unveiling two fresh light fixtures and a new (at least to me) wood and cast-aluminum version of their Corliss chair.

Studio Dunn’s Radiata lamp, modeled after a type of marine jellyfish. Photo from studiodunn.com

Studio Dunn Corliss chair. Photo from studiodunn.com

And Nervous System, from Somerville, Mass., was showing their Hyphae lamps, each individually “grown” through a 3D printing process based on leaf-vein formation. The result is a bit like a Napa cabbage skeleton you can place on your desk or hang in your foyer. Fun.

Photo from n-e-r-v-o-u-s.com

Not a bad haul for a quick jaunt to the big city, wouldn’t you say?

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