Modern Makers Show Off Artful and Hand-Crafted Wood Furniture
It might have been billed as a “modern makers craft fair,” but it was also an homage to the beauty of hand-crafted wood furniture. Field+Supply, a design/craft show held in the Hudson Valley of New York, was dominated by beautiful wooden pieces by designers from far and near. Seeing these items in a rustic setting in natural light is very different from the bright lights of a convention hall. Doing so also offers a new perspective the furniture, enhancing its beauty and natural appeal.
Field and Supply is the brainchild of designer Brad Ford, who wanted to focus on “modern, elevated craftsmanship” and to feature artisans from the Hudson Valley, New York City and Brooklyn. Ford has taken the Fair concept a step further as a permanent showroom in the New York Design Center. Many of the same designers who participate in the upstate event are represented at Fair.
Beautiful imperfections highlight the hand-crafted wooden Lorca Table by Dzierlenga F+U. The company is run by a woman woodworker who says she takes satisfaction in “splinters and callouses.” She is 0ne of a growing cadre of female woodworkers — who were rare birds less than a decade ago — now making their creative mark in the hand-crafted furniture industry.
Fern Handcrafted Furniture creates bench-crafted studio furniture such as this low and lovely piece. Founded by Jason Roskey and Maggie Goudsmit in 2009 in Brooklyn, the company now has a studio and a retail showroom in Hudson. The duo uses sustainable practices to design and make gorgeous contemporary furniture that will last for generations.
You can’t help but be drawn to this unusual design by Don Howell Joinery. The Sternum Lounge is handcrafted from walnut by Howell, who makes “hand joined furniture in the tradition of Early American joiners and 20th century American studio furniture makers.” His materials are sourced from New York regions, the Midwest, his own location in the Catskills, and even found elements.
This stunning chair is a collaboration between AVO, which creates hand-dyed cowhide rugs, and Asher Israelow, wood furniture craftsman. Homedit first discovered Israelow’s work at ICFF this year and is jazzed about seeing this design partnership. AVO, founded by Brit Kleinman, uses leather as a canvas for her creative vision, whether she is creating rugs, pillows or this chair. Israelow’s tables typically feature what looks like a sprinkling of inset metal dots, which are actually a map of the stars, and his joinery on this chair uses the same inset metal method.
Beautiful wood is again paired with sumptuous leather in this chest by Elijah Leed. Leed designs and builds pieces for those who appreciate hand crafting with a modern sensibility. As with most all of the artisans showcased at Field+Supply, the materials Leed uses are responsibly sourced domestically. Above is his Bowen Chest, which has four drawers.
Deep, dark and handsome — this chair by Samuel Moyer Furniture is substantial and practical. Designed with drop-down armrest leaves, it’s perfect for you cup of tea or your iPad. Moyer makes one-of-a-kind furniture by hand from sustainable materials of heirloom quality. His website explains that he creates “furniture that lasts, links generations and reduces waste and consumption. Call it slow furniture, if you like, but it’s an idea and an aesthetic whose time has come.” Homedit loves his tagline, which would apply to the entire Field+Supply show: Designed and built with the practicality of the past and ethics for the future.
Pacama also features the beauty of imperfection in this Quarry Low Table. A live edge combined with an irregular shape and naturally gnarled corner make for a stunning piece. Cedric Martin, founder of Pacama in Woodstock, New York, creates design that feature solid northeastern timbers, clean lines and lean dimensions.
A gorgeous wood credenza, chairs and an assortment of accessories are from Phaedo, a design company that focuses on creating objects and spaces with intention and purpose. It seeks to make products that will last for generations to tell their story. Morgan Spaulding creates all of the designs and is based in Kingston, New York.
Blonde wood and grey felt make for a modern design that still looks comfortable. Created by Sawkille, it has accent stitching in bright colors, that add a subtle yet colorful accent to the neutral piece. The small furniture company, based in the Catskills, has been making furniture for the past 15 years in the real of what they call “Rural American Design.”
Perfectly imperfect reclaimed wood is the main focus of this piece from Sticks and Bricks of Northampton, Massachusetts. Liz Karney and principal collaborator Justin Brown make furniture for their shop, and do custom work for customers near and far.
The softly shaped verticals in this wall shelving by Richard Watson add a sinuous touch, which is not typical for this type of piece. Crafted by Brooke Richard and Laura Watson in Rhode Island, it is one of a range of pieces made from wood and metal. Their joinery is hand-cut and the hardware they use is cast in bronze with a wax finish.
These magnificent bowls are by Wyatt Speight Rhue, who turns the green wood and then dries them in a way that allows for natural distortions and checking. He uses wood in ways to feature the gran and says that crotch of a tree can provide spectacular grain patterns. Rhue sometimes enhances the color and texture by using a torch on the bowl. All the wood he uses is downed by tree services, or from dead or storm-damaged trees. “There should be a long lived connection with the furniture that you use. My furniture should be worn, it should last for generations, it should have the users fingerprints embedded in it,” says Rhue.
Field+Supply may be set up like a craft fair, but the offerings from the exhibitors are not “crafty.” The pieces shown are superbly designed pieces of hand-hewn artful, sophisticated furniture that are perfect for any stylish home.