Editor’s Miscellany: New England in New York

May 23, 2013

By Kyle Hoepner

This past weekend I was in New York City for the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) and other events in the cluster of parties, exhibitions, talks, and product launches informally known as Design Week. (Design Week is really more like Design Month, however. Two art and design fairs—Collective and Frieze—already took place two weeks ago, and the events calendar hasn’t yet emptied out.)

It was great to see quite a number of New England firms crop up among the exhibitors around town, some of them old friends and some of them happy new discoveries. Since I’ve just barely gotten back into the office there hasn’t been time to concoct a full-dress retrospective of my trip, but I can’t think of any reason not to share a few things that caught my eye. No doubt there will be more to come—and not just limited to New England—in this space two weeks hence.

Here are a few of AKDO’s “Fusion” combination mosaics: stone from their quarries in Turkey mixed with glass tile.

Photos from akdo.com

I was particularly taken by Assembly Design’s Right Lamp, with its combination of slightly irregular hand-blown glass and blackened steel.

Photo from assemblydesign.us

Connecticut’s dbO Home also went with dark this year, debuting a new lamp that plays off walnut against slate gray stoneware.

Photo from dbohome.com

Chemetal’s metal, wood, and HPL laminates most often appear in commercial settings, but I can’t see why something like this handsome copper sheet wouldn’t be at home in the best private houses.

Photo from chemetal.com

Despite all the time I’ve spent in Fairfield County, I had somehow missed that Westport’s Circa Antiques has a line of custom furniture and lighting, called Astele, that offers pleasures both simple and more elaborate.

Photos from astele.com

Duxbury Coastal Teak was also a name new to me, perhaps because it is new. The company, based unsurprisingly in Duxbury, Mass., is producing solid outdoor furniture in a number of styles, including this brawny Eze chaise in reclaimed Indonesian teak and marine-grade stainless steel.

Photo courtesy of Duxbury Coastal Teak

Also on the furniture front, Richard Watson’s highboy was actually introduced last year, but still looks mighty good.

Photo from richard-watson.com

Vermont’s Shackleton Thomas is a source of both painstakingly crafted furniture and striking carved pottery.

Photos from shackletonthomas.com

Another design fair in session this past weekend was Wanted Design—similar in intent to the ICFF, but feeling somehow more mixed and intimate because of the character of the space (the Tunnel at the Terminal Stores building on 11th Avenue) and the way major, established designers were installed cheek-by-jowl with up-and-coming hopefuls showing some of their first design prototypes.

Photo courtesy of Wanted Design

At least two New Englanders were in evidence, both of them, as it happens, prior winners of New England Home’s 5 Under 40 awards.

Designer Debra Folz continues her juxtaposition of industrial processes with traditional “women’s” craft in, among other things, a series of stools incorporating handwoven leather edging.

Photo from debrafolz.com

Quentin Kelley of Infusion Furniture weighed in with a set of playful trays exploring just what you can do with fine hardwood and colorful laminate, as well as these upholstered dining chairs.

Photo courtesy of Infusion Furniture and Wanted Design

There’s no particularly reason to stop here, but…it’s time to upload the post. So more to come later!

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