April 24th, 2013 _ Comments Off _
Zelouf and Bell’s Gazelle desk manages to be both fun and distinguished masculine and feminine all that the same time. The main body of the desk is of quarter sawn and oiled oak, which gives it great texture and strength. The rest is of ebonised walnut legs and wenge on the pulls. Not all woods have the same qualities or behaves in the same way, so it takes some quite serious expertise to play the different woods well. Like with good cooking, the results of this remain largely unseen at a glance, but can begin to be appreciated as you get close up. It is really over time, as it ages well, that is true value can be understood.
One of those close up details that’s pretty rock and roll has to be the hematite pulls, “like nipple rings,” Zelouf and Bell said. These close up details are always a charming discovery with their work. My favorite detail appears on all their work, it’s the way they sign their mark in inlaid polished aluminium, the stamp of style.
April 23rd, 2013 _ Comments Off _
I love animal tables. Zoomorphism make furniture feel like part of the family rather than just a functional object. Like a pet dog it’s a kind of extension of who you are, only you don’t need to feed it or bring it out for walks. It also makes an excellent alternative to taxidermy which has been having a bit of a moment right now.
Zelouf and Bell constructed the leg of this table like a winding back bone. The ebonized cherry vertebrae are separated by polished aluminium discs. How it all stands up is their secret. This is one of many pieces that Zelouf and Bell have made in black, they even came out with a whole collection just in black recently. There is an old decorating trick, where you put a black object in a room and it makes all the other colours look clearer and cleaner. Black has already become popular in interiors and it looks like a trend that’s not likely to fade.
April 22nd, 2013 _ Comments Off _
Zelouf and Bell love the adventure of collaborating with an artist. In the case of the Monolith scared and healing console the adventure was with Danish artist Jorn Ronnau, who sculpted directly on the piece with a chain saw, resulting in a sort of controlled anarchy. On close examination what is really extraordinary isn’t the grooves cut into the wood, but the bumps that are proud of the surface. After Ronnau made his cuts, the wood would have been smoothed down further, giving a clean finish that frames the cuts. It’s a juxtaposition of a silky skin and the gnarly scars, which have weathered together like an Irish landscape.
December 18th, 2012 _ _
There is something very christmassy about a group of coffee tables that looks like a cross between a starry sky and a flock of sheep. This Carrara marble table with plastic coated steel legs was designed by Olivier Peyricot in 2008. He is one of those uber trendy Parisian designers that has a C.V. that many designers wouldn’t mind finding under the tree with their own name on it. Before turning forty he has already participated in exhibitions in the Pompidou centre in Paris and the Museum of modern art in New York, and of course this herd of interlocking tables that was exhibited in the Tools Galerie in the Marais in Paris.
December 1st, 2012 _ _
Of all the Pitt Pollaro collection the Long Table is my favourite, and in my mind the most accomplished. It’s certainly not an easy piece to build or design and I’m guessing that that no metal armature was used in the squiggly mahogany base (I could be wrong), thus taking full advantage of the woodwork skills in Pollaro’s workshop. A stone slab that size is not easy to support at random points without cracking.
The mahogany has a similar aspect to the stone which harmonises the table and the rules generated by the base give it it’s character. The virtual line created half way between the ground and the table-top where the squiggle changes direction, the change of direction when hitting the floor or table -top, always at 3D angles. I Mostly love this table for two reasons, one, because of the tension in it’s shape that is at a balancing point between an etched out solid and free lines coming together, and two, it’s a nice colour.
October 9th, 2012 _ _
A few weekends ago the Danmark was in Dublin Port with the tall ships race. It is a training ship, crewed by fresh young enthusiastic sailors, who get to eat well if the cooks food is as good anything as good as her dancing. The whole ship has wooden finishes throughout, with varnish is so thick that that it everything, including the tables, has a glassy clean perfection.
Apart for the below photo from the Irish Times, the photos are pretty ropey as I only had a telephone with me, but making do with what you have is what life on a ship is all about. This is in one of the two students cabins, where they hang their hammocks, sit down to classes and have their meals at one of the four ten places tables. There is a removable frame, which stops one students plate of Gronlangkal slopping over another shipmates slice of ugbrod during high seas. When dinner is finished and they want to study nautical maps, they simply lift up the frame, which is held in place by little dowels that are slotted into holes on table-top . It is then hung on hooks under the table.
The construction of the table uses the same techniques as the rest of the boat, from the screwed in steel legs, down to the black waterproof sealed joints. Wouldn’t it be marvelous to see more tables having as much care of construction given to them as the building in which they find themselves. After all this is a spot that really matters, it’s where you work, eat and gather together with your shipmates.
October 2nd, 2012 _ _
May 26th, 2012 _ _
This is perhaps the most French table that I’ve ever seen, political commentary, philosophy, and a touch of the Marie Antoinettes in there somewhere. Perhaps it is the Marie Antoinette element that hints at it’s origin, the bagette table is in fact Austrian. It was first shown at the Vienna Design Week Laboratory, the idea being to illustrate that with imagination that we could manage food in a more efficient way. Fact: all the food waste from Vienna could feed half the people of Graz.
These tables were used for a meal where everything was made of bread, the cutlery the plate and of course the food. This reminds me of the medieval trencher, a bread platter that was put on the table and the food was served on it. When the meal was finished either the trencher was eaten, (a good trencher man), or it was given to the poor.
I notice that most of the bread bagettes are wholemeal, and I’m curious to know if that was an aesthetic, political or structural decision. That kind of thing is best debated over a coffee in a café, something else that’s similar between Paris and Vienna.
VIA Studio Rygalik
May 15th, 2012 _ _
David Amar is an artist and designer who has a storyteller’s approach, with an interest in layering the moments of a table. Here with the David table there is a central basket that hangs hidden below the middle, which is revealed as the table opens up. The fruit seems not just to be a weight that is carried on the table but as a tension force that’s pulling it together and balancing it out, especially when it is open and becomes an ensemble of four smaller interdependent one legged tables. Perhaps this is a deconstruction but I also see it as a poetic reconstruction.
May 7th, 2012 _ _
For me this folding fork table is a sort of cousin of the shooting stick, a fantastic gift for the person who has everything. Seriously though have you ever found yourself in a garden in serious need of a horizontal surface for a mug of tea while weeding a flowerbed? Natalie Sampson obviously has.