FIRMLY ROOTED FURNITURE

Today, we’re selling Ethan Abramson’s beautifully crafted wood furniture. Kate Canary delves deeper into the mind of this creative woodworker.

For most of us, inspiration doesn’t grow on trees. But that’s right where Ethan Abramson finds it.

The New York-based furniture designer allows gorgeously grained, richly hued hardwoods—new and salvaged— to dictate his design process.

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Photograph by Garrett Ilardi

 

Having worked in both Brooklyn and East Hampton, he’s ventured from stark industrial lofts to sweeping coastal landscapes and back again, feeding off the visual dichotomy. Lush scenery breeds boundless inspiration, while urban limitations demand efficiency and innovation.

Fusing the two comes naturally to Abramson, who injects life and character into every handcrafted piece. The wood appears to breathe and swell from a few soft, strategic curves. The legs are carved and angled as if they were about to take a step.

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Photograph by Jenny Gorman

 

There’s no doubt Slade, the shop cat, brings his own frisky personality to the operation. But like his boss, he’s a consummate pro: One of two felines in the shop, Slade gets a shout-out for having recently graduated from apprentice to foreman.

(And as Ethan aptly put it, “He matches the chair.”)

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Photograph by Jenny Gorman

Seamless, simple, and truly inspired, this is the kind of furniture you want to live with. I could go into the designer’s history—and how this down-to earth guy gives back to the environment—but a little bird (my Editor) told me you’d rather hear it from the man himself.

You’re clearly no novice. What led you to designing wood furniture?

With a background in advertising and high-end commercial interior design, I have always worked in creative environments. I enjoyed both industries, but the limitations of corporate culture and the disappointment of continually sending my ideas “up the ladder” started to wear on me. I have always created things.

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Photograph by Jenny Gorman

Define “always.” Did you build Lego masterpieces as a kid? What was your outlet?

I spent a lot of time painting, drawing, and sculpting with clay. Then as I got older, I began to build things. But I still rely heavily on my studio art background and the techniques I learned way back when.

So I started working with wood professionally in 2008. I worked with two high-end furniture companies—eventually becoming the head foreman of one—and during that time, I designed and sold my own work. As interest grew, I opened up my own shop full-time.

What is 1% for the Planet?

I recently joined 1% for the Planet, a global network of independent designers who donate 1% of their proceeds to environmental causes. I always aim to approach my work in an environmentally conscious way, but this allows me to formally show that commitment to the world.

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Photograph by Jenny Gorman

Okay, enlighten us. What gets the creative juices flowing?

I am mostly inspired by the everyday visual world. An idea for a piece can come from an interesting structural bend in a house, or a discarded scrap of metal that has just the right look.

When I sit down to design, I get overwhelmed by the innumerable directions I can go…function, style, material…so I limit myself to a few basic curves, and then build a piece from that. You can see the repetition of these curves throughout the work. 

 

 

The outcome of this organic process does not disappoint. I’ve had the pleasure of sitting in the Irving Chair, and I’ve had the displeasure of having to eventually get up. Who knew solid wood could be so comfortable?

See for yourself: Ethan Abramson’s sale on Fab begins today.

Kate Canary

Notes

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