While many furniture concepts bank on a single innovation to help them stand out, these new items from designer and craftsman David Colwell have two to their name. Called the X Table and A Chair (named derived from the shape of each piece), these matching objects make use of steam-based wood bending and hollow-tube rivets to create graceful, curving shapes not limited by traditional wood fastening. Made from light ash, the furniture pieces are cut and finished in energy-efficient manners, with more time devoted to the handcrafting and assembly of the wood than its initial manufacture. Each wood strip is carefully curled to form a complex, organic flex under conditions thought best to ensure structural integrity and preserve the finish of the Ash. Then, each finished part is imbedded with one or more hollow, golden-hued connections that act as both binding points and natural pivot axes. Both of these innovations are claimed by Colwell to be unique to this series of furniture, and his “tubular rivets” are a legally protected design aspect.
The final result of all this original structure is two contemporary furniture designs that retain the flow and grace of a natural environment. With the wood’s finish preserved, the forms taken by the strips are decidedly modern. The chair, especially, has an unconventional shape, one which distributes weight throughout the construction to enable relatively thin materials to be used. In both furniture pieces, Colwell’s hollow rivets and steam-bent wood define objects that are modern, functional, and graceful.