Published on : Friday, July 11, 2014
Gearing up for its 125th anniversary in 2015, Baker Furniture recently co-hosted Craft + Design at the New York Design Center, where four master craftsmen from North Carolina demonstrated the processes and techniques that create the company’s celebrated products, including some by guest designers such as Barbara Barry, Jacques Garcia, Laura Kirar and Michael Smith.
Each artisan represented a handcrafted skill—upholstery, painting, finishing or carving—that combines historical techniques with the modern aesthetic particular to Baker. “Craft + Design will provide access to what we rarely even share in North Carolina,” said Baker President Austin Rothbard in a statement released by the company. “We’re uncovering our artisanship 124 years in the making—the constant in our ever-evolving design that drives us to the forefront of the industry and differentiates us from most brands in the marketplace today.”
Craftsman Marty Welch demonstrated the upholstery process behind the Thomas Pheasant Max Club Chair, which requires more than 18 tools, ranging from a nail gun and razor knife to a sewing machine, to reach the final product. Decorator Donna Taylor showcased her painting skills on the Stately Homes Chinoiserie Commode, which undergoes 50 hours of hand decorating and painting with oil paint, micro gold powder, and 24-karat gold sheets. It takes director of corporate finishing John Kiryanoff 10 steps and 11 hours to create the golden geode surface of the Barbara Barry Bauble Drum, one of four products on display to represent the craft of finishing. Meanwhile, J.B. Gesler demonstrated the crisp carving behind items like the St. Honore Chest and the Tony Duquette Gold Toad, which requires over 50 hours of dedicated work.
Craft + Design makes its next stop in Chicago in September, and plans to extend into 2015 to coincide with Baker’s 125th anniversary. Says Rothbard, “Craft + Design is a precursor to all that lies ahead as we explore different ways to embrace our craft, forge new design paths and unveil future partnerships.”