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blythe's blog

Paco Camus

Paco describes his pieces as "functional sculptures" and are a cross between furniture and art.  Hailing from Valencia Spain, he now makes his home in Connecticut.   He studied Industrial Design but was influenced by comic book art of the '80's, which was a strong vehicle of expression in Spain at the time.  Check out these beautifully worked pieces below:




Paco in his studio.

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On the Edge of Industrial

Here are just a few industrial finds and photos this week:

Sleek 60's office chair from Rhan Vintage



Streamlined 700 pendant from Lighting Matters, UK

Nice-looking salvaged lens pendants

WoWe' Lighting from France


Industrial interior

Repurposed vintage Sloviakian traffic light from Skin Flint Design.

Detail of industrial screen taken in Ely NV  



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The Art of the Chair

 Here are some of my favorite chair designs this week:

Solid wood chair from Liberty Co.  


Not sure of the maker of this chair, but the fabric works so well with the form.

Lovista chair by Anthropologie

Rough South Home specializes in handcrafted furniture and lighting from old palettes and reclaimed materials.

Nice looking lounger from Fab

Terai chair from Anthropologie

"Chair-o-space" by Paul Loebach; using state of the art computer and 3D technology combined with wood turning. Look closely, it's deceptively hard to make something with these lines. The subtle curve at the bottom of the leg, for instance.

Terance Conran chair

Fun woven chair from Dishfunctional Design


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Tranformative Designs

Great new ideas by Nazar Sigaher; a talented product designer from Turkey.  The clock constantly changes its form as time passes.  Sigaher specializes in transformative product design.

This stool by Sigaher is easily assembled without fittings or attachments

The rising chair and table below by Robert Van Embricqs emphasize the natural shape an object can made by transforming itself.

The center of the table features a set of wooden beams “woven” into a lattice-like pattern using a few screws. The fluid and flexible form of the table allows it to be simply lifted and fixed into place while the pull of gravity ensures that the crisscrossed mesh of wooden beams automatically fall into place to transform themselves into “legs” of the table. Using the same principles as a wheeled ambulance stretcher, the Rising Table concept is able to automatically retract its legs on its top being lifted up from the ground.

The rising chair (below) works on this same concept.  

Sources:  Robert Van EmbricqsNazar Sigaher

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Industrial Surprises This Week

There is a practicality and refinement of Industrial furniture (especially French industrial) that is a constant inspiration to me.  Some of the pieces below are available this week and some are not - but they are all a little different and unique...

Turquoise blue pendant (source unknown.)

1930's industrial metal poster panels available from France.  

Early English salvaged fluorescent fixtures by GEC circa 1950 from Skin Flint Design; a great store in the UK

What?  Ceiling pendants are mounted to the wall instead. Available from France

Strange little industrial chair available from France

Stunning batch of English prismatic industrial pendants by Holophane salvaged from the National Turbine Test Facilities at Pystock Fleet UK 1950.They manufactured Concorde, Harrier, and Tornado jet engines for over 50 years. 

Fantastic old metal chairs and 1830's bobbin display currently available (France). Many French industrial salvaged items come from old garment factories, which lends this display authenticity.

Galvanized pendant with pops of color (source unknown)

1950's industrial bent ply sofa currently available (France)

1940's dentist chair used in the army (France) super sturdy for tooth extractions....


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Magic Carpet Ride

One of the top winners at Highpoint this year was the shop Jaipur;  who make and import beautiful carpets from India.

another rug from their Artisan collection

Shayam Ahuja's fleur du lis, India

patchwork rugs made from recycled ones Leoxx, Netherlands


cool rug by  remy veenhuizen made from recycled blankets, Netherlands

patchwork rug by Sarita Handa, India

three dimensional wool rug featured in apartment therapy

"patchwork fred" by Shyam Ahuja (detail)


view inside Jaipur's shop

a living carpet made from the spaces between cobblestones by Shyam Ahuja, India

the floral carpet at the Grand Palace in Brussels which is made every two years.  up to one million flowers are used in each carpet.



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The Golden Age of Travel

Beautiful luggage encapsulates all the glamour and decadence of the golden age of travel. The  pieces below are both old and new and harken to a time when the journey was as important as the destination. We have had several requests for vintage luggage; especially Louis Vitton. The travel biblioteque below was used by Ernest Hemingway in 1923 and the model is extremely rare.  


Another great piece was the innovative Vitton armoire.  This sleek design offered more creative storage than ever.  It's the largest piece in the company’s vintage collection, measuring 100 (height) x 65 x 65 cms and included hanging space.


These beautiful crocodile suitcases  were made in the 1930's for Karen Blixen.  Hermès unearthed them in their archives and they think that since they were never used, they must never have been sent to her in Kenya. The sterling silver and tortoiseshell pieces are engraved with a crown and the initials DBF which stands for Dineson Blixen-Finecke, a combination of her maiden and married names.


Beautiful 18th c.canvas and leather vintage Hermes luggage; available through Christies May 19th, South Kensington Branch.

Vintage Dunhill leather case (also available at the Christies auction.)

Louis Vitton tea set; part of the vintage collection.

The beautiful trio below is from Norton MacCullough and Locke from England.  Although new, Norton's aim is to preserve traditional leather-working techniques and bespoke craftsmanship. Their beautiful pieces are one-of-a-kind, and feature details such as gold plated locks and hardware. Hand-finished. Alcantara linings, precisely fitted removable trays, and engraved mirrors are featured on the inside lids of dressing cases.

They also design jewelry boxes, trunks, hat boxes, suitcases, humidors, watch cases, travel desks, attaché cases, games sets and drinks cases.

As part of their Bespoke collection; Rolls Royce offers a nifty picnic basket for $30,000.

A vintage 1905 basket by Rolls is currently being offered for sale for half the price of the new version.

For a spontaneous celebration; try this champagne case by Swaine Adeney Brigg; a venerable British company founded in 1750, which has been supplying the British royal court with leather travel goods for decades.

It is made from the finest bridle leather using traditional methods in a workshop not far from Cambridge. One employee is always personally responsible for the quality of each individual product, and his or her name can be found on a card in each bag or case.:

Sources:  Louis Vitton; Porhomme; Norton; Rolls Royce

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Woven Delights from Sahil and Sarthuk

Two young designers Sahil Bagga & Sarthak Sengupta are making a splash with their innovative and playful designs. Their goal is to preserve the tradition and skills of local artisans in India by employing them in new and contemporary designs.  Their designs appear in boutique hotels, restaurants, and residences worldwide. Below are their Katran table lamps. Katran means "small pieces of left-over cloth", which are the by-product of India's incredible fabric industry. It's nice to see these cloth remnants collected, spun into ropes, and hand woven onto blacksmith made metal frames.

The  Katran "Stork" chair was showcased in the "Cappellini Next Exhibition" during Milan furniture fair 2012. Exhibition has also travelled to Bruxelles in June 2012. 

a Katran chair detail

The "Pelican" chair below is available a number of colorful options

In addition to creating furniture and lighting; Sahil and Sarthuk also design interiors



The lamp below is called a Choori lamp.  Choori in Hindi means Glass Bangle. This lamp is inspired from Indian women who use clothes hangers to store their glass bangles.

This fun piece is called is a "Beetle Puffer Seat" which explores different knitting techniques using a women's self-help group from Haryana. 

This lamp is a part of their Longpi collection; a unique tradition of potterry from Manipur. The spouted backside of the lamp allows a handy grip for moving the floor lamp. The cane woven basket acts as a filter for soft lighting.


Sources:  Sahil & Sarthuk

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Design Trend: Organics

Organic furniture was prominently featured at the most recent IMM show in Cologne, and is one of the big trends of 2013.  It's one of my favorite styles (lots of wood pieces waiting in the barn to be made into something.)

Below are a few examples of designers who know how to do it right.  The slab bench below is by Kaspar Hamecher of Belgium. Kaspar's motto:  "Kaspar loves wood and his chainsaw".... also his blowtorch...

prepping the wood

finished trio of torched tables 


Pie Studio's chair made from ratan and fiberboard

Pie's "Tonecoon Lounger" made from water hyacinth (and other materials)

back view of the lounger

Egan Koo's festive "Hyde and Seek" chair

Daniel Widrig's anteateresque table shown in two positions

elegant chair by Daniel Widrig

organic pendant from Pie Studio

Sources:  Pie Studio, Kaspar Hamcher, Egan Koo, Daniel Widrig

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Over the top elegance

Henryote & Cie is one of the oldest seat joinery manufacturer's in France. Founded in 1867 the company has prospered as it was passed down from generation to generation;  Dominique Roitel is the current owner and proprietor of this venerable company.  His philosophy is to combine their tradition of craftsmanship and old world knowledge of furniture with contemporary designs.  This has proven to be very successful for them as they have become well known aroound the globe for their fabulous work. Just a few of their pieces are shown below.

Little outdoor table and chair exhibited at Maison Objet in Paris

Aptly named the "mermaid sofa"  this beautiful piece was designed by Dominique Roitel and comes in a number of colors

Intricate detailing of one of their leather covered mini-bars

A luxurious place to take a nap....

Detail of the outdoor table

The workshop of Henryot & Cie at Liffol-le Grand, France

For Laduree

You might not expect this great rustic bar from them

sources:  Henryot & Cie

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A Self-Confessed Furniture Fanatic

Anjali Mody is a self-confessed furniture fanatic who graduated from Rhode Island School of Design, and then went back to India to found Josmo Studio in Mumbai.  The furniture and lighting pieces are fresh and fun, and are uniquely Indian.  All pieces are also designed to be extremely functional and purposeful.

Below is the "Love Me Do" Ottoman

A set of Chester chairs

The fun and versatile Bari Bookshelf

The Maharaja Trunk can be a table AND a trunk

Neon Armchair

Whimsical"U-stack" tables

A sibling to the Chester chairs - this is the Chester sofa

Josmo strives to adopt sustainable practices in every stage of production.


Anjali Mody in Josmo Studio

Dusty the doe-eyed dog

 Sources:  Josmo Studio



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Sit and Read

Sit and Read is both a retail store and gallery. Owner Kyle Garner carries unique vintage pieces and has recently launched a line of contemporary furnishings. The teak frame of the sofa below is designed by Ib Kofod-Larsen, and the cushions are upholstered in dead stock Hudson Bay blankets. 

beautiful set of vintage handmade chairs

This chair was made by a company called Lensol-Wells and probably designed by partner Hobart Wells.This chair is a great character piece and  the previous owner took the time to strip it down to reveal the stunning textile underneath. 

Below is a great set of chairs by Arthur Umanoff

vintage wool blankets used as upholstery 

Kyle working the Brimford Market

Launch party invitation

These guys know how to put a contemporary spin on vintage pieces.

Sources: Sit and Read

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Jae-Hyo Lee

One of the most respected and talented furniture artists of our day is Jae-Lyo Lee who produces art that happens also to be functional.  He can somehow transform his materials without compromising their nature. 

I discovered this rock installation displayed in my hotel on a recent trip to Korea

Another example of Jae-Lyo's flying rock style.

Jae-Lyo leaves the materials as they are but shapes the space around


Jae-Hyo Lee 

The pieces below are actually nails in charred wood.  this was painstakingly done by bending nails  in different dirctions and perfectly aligning them on the surface,so that the overall impression is one of changing depth and movement.


Sources:  Jae-Hyo Lee; Melt


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Those Crazy Campanas Brothers

Fernando and Humberto Campanas didn't start out wanting to be the most revered designers in Brazil.  Humberto was actually a practicing  attorney who enjoyed dabbling in sculpture.  His architect brother Fernando, convinced him to change direction and they partneered to try their hand at making furniture from recycled materials in 1983--they never looked back.  Their originality and whimsy gained them a huge following and critical acclaim. Awarded Best Designer status at this year’s Salon de Maison et Objet, the Campanas' were given carte blanche at Paris’ biggest design venue, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in the exhibition Barroco Rococo until 24 February 2013.

this exhuberant gothic sofa stole the show

it would be a shame to place this against a wall!

corrugated cardboard ceiling detail at the Maison et Obet show

The brothers’ stay away from straight-edged minimalist works; focusing instead on the handicraft and recycled ‘street’ look that has been central to their work.


the Campanas brothers relaxing after a hard day of creating things


the Vermelha armchair is their most known chair.  It takes a number of days to manually build the seat by hand a high degree of weaving expertise is needed. Five hundred metres of special rope with an acrylic core, covered in cotton, are woven onto the frame to create a structure and then plaited by consecutive overlapping, leaving sufficient surplus to form a kind of random weave which creates an unusual padding.

chair detail

paying homage to the Thonet with a few playful touches

the backside of a sushi chair.  A small number of these chairs are produced in the studio each year and mad from rolled felt around a metal structure.  each chair is numbered.

detail of a sushi sofa

fun with plastic tubes 

tribal gothic armoire unveiled at the Maison et Obet


Sources:  Campanas Brothers, Design Boom, WGSN

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Hilla Shamia: Heavy Metal Tree Hugger

Hillia Shamia takes wood working to another level. She was at the end of her four years as a product designer in Israel searching for a way to do something unexpected and fun with natural materials.  Her quest led her to experiment with taking entire cypress and eucalyptus trees and pouring molten aluminum directly onto their surfaces.  The hot metal burned off the exterior part of the tree and the molten aluminm leaked into the nooks and crannies.  When cooled, she cut the cast's surface to create the beautiful pieces shown below. 



The metal casting is a labor-intensive process; takign up to two weeks to perfect.

The "leakage" of the molten aluminum carbonizing into the nooks and crannies of the wood is the secret the success of each piece

The cooled log with legs on either side is now cut down the center and cleaned up.

The final shapes are perfect for tables and benches and Hillia takes orders directly from her website.  She currently lives and works in Tel Aviv. 

Sources: Hillia Shamia


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