Elegantly minimal and a composition of precise and savory intersection of wood and metal, the growing, ready-made collection within the Edgework Creative furniture portfolio are versatile and accessible in nature. The creative fabrication studio based in Columbus, Ohio, embraces a mission to make quality, handcrafted furniture a part of everyday life, bringing functional and beautiful furnishings to modern residential and commercial modalities.
Using their fabrication abilities in millwork and woodwork, the team has built a portfolio tackling complex custom projects for clients and have since expanded their work into a ready-made collection more than 20-pieces-strong, which ranges from contemporary, but multi-styled, dining tables; to seating, desks, and accent pieces like coat racks, modular shelving, and reclaimed tabletops.
In February 2021, Edgework Creative announced the debut of four new products to its online assortment of ready-made—and customizable—furnishings, comprising two seating collections and two table designs that build on the firm’s affinity for elegant and contemporary statements.
“For Justin [Brown] and I, personally, it’s a further challenge to work within our realms and constantly create something new. It’s something we love doing and would be doing otherwise outside of work,” said Adam Jax, metal fabricator at Edgework Creative.
Jax worked in collaboration with Justin Brown, woodworker at Edgework Creative, to design the new products, bringing an adventurous, but goal-oriented approach to the shaping of two widely used and endlessly versatile materials. The combination of complexity and possibility inherent in both wood and metal require a special balance of patience and persistence that must be struck in the design process, which the team exercised in new furnishings like the Principal Chair.
“The Principal Chair is a simple piece of furniture, but a lot of time and consideration went into what materials went in which places and for what reasons; whether they were support pieces holding up pieces for the seat profile or the number of screws,” Brown said. “It’s a balance; we don’t want to overdo it, because I would say minimalism is probably one of our tenet-design terms, but there’s a happy balance where you don’t want to take away too much from the chair.”
The Principal Chair takes inspiration from a classic school chair and is available in Oak, Ash, Walnut, or Maple, with a black or white metal frame. Though an instantly recognizable version of a chair, there are subtle accents on the Principal Chair’s body that shape its own identity, such as the small bend in the cross-back section of the chair, which required special tooling, or at the seat portion where a wood slat sits on top of the metal base to give the seat an elevated look. It is in achieving details like these between metal and wood that excite the fabricators, especially as the complexities between each material continually reveal themselves.
“I would say what makes wood so unique is the different species having different characteristics and getting to know them,” Brown said. “It’s organic and no two boards are ever going to look identical; they have such character.”
The STAX Stool Collection highlights the utility of these materials in dining, counter, and bar heights and as a functional, flexible, and mobile solution. A simple, plywood-birch seat with a small cut-out makes the light, sturdy stools easy to stack and store, and its varying heights allow for use not only as seating, but also nightstands and end tables. The Elemnt dining table is also designed to be a simple, unfussy solution for everyday life and small gatherings. The table is all round edges, with curved, steel-tube legs and a round top with bullnose-edge, which gives it a gentle presence in the room.
In contrast, the Truss Dining Table is a statement piece inspired by the support and architecture of bridges. The table, which is available in Oak, Ash, Walnut, or Maple, features a simple and clean breadboarded top that gestures to the angular base below it, highlighting a visual appreciation of negative space.
The ways in which complex ideas can be expressed in simple, but fine-tuned design and material programs continue to be explored in the Edgework Creative studio. While the satisfaction of perfecting one is a large reason Brown and Jax savor the design process from start to finish, it is also in the challenge of the craft and introducing one material to another.
“For me, being able to manipulate [metal] in different ways—heating, cutting, welding, bending, rolling—and exploring the infinite number of uses for an infinite number of materials is kind of a never-ending board game and I’ll never get to the end,” Jax said.
“Exploring, using all my knowledge, and all the materials and tooling, and then ending up with an endgame that’s functional, desirable, and aesthetically pleasing and profitable—that’s the ultimate satisfaction. Hopefully, someday I’ll find things nobody has ever done. That’s kind of the big fish I’m after anyway,” Jax added.
Text: R. Collins
Photography: Amy Carruthers