This trio of Pacific Northwest designers is pushing the boundaries of material and form.
BRYAN REED | URBAN HARDWOODS
When Seattle neighborhood trees have to go, the folks at Urban Hardwoods make sure that none of the beautiful timber goes to waste. Instead they transform it into sturdy heirloom pieces, rich with history and a lineage, to be passed down for generations to come. Whether creating desks or dining room tables, credenzas or end tables, headboards or lamps, the designers at Urban Hardwoods view Mother Nature as the original artist. Manager Bryan Reed thinks of his team as “wood poets,” designers who interpret the wood and stay true to the minimalist style that nature inadvertently provides. Their pieces are modern in form but milled in a tradition that holds strong even 100 years later.
PHOTOS: FURNITURE, COURTESY URBAN HARDWOODS; HEADSHOT, BRIAN ROACH PHOTOGRAPHY
CATHY TEREPOCKI | CATHY TEREPOCKI CERAMICS
Last year, ceramic artist Cathy Terepocki caught the attention of retail chain Anthropologie, which commissioned her to create a line of garden stools, tableware, candleholders and hardware. Inspired by the landscape surrounding her Vancouver home, Terepocki designs patterns that are abstracted from nature: Vertical lines allude to bare trees; grids reference orchard rows; glaze surfaces are influenced by mossy fence posts or the speckled finish of a river stone. Lately, she’s even been digging clay from the banks of the Chilliwack River and has “spent the last year getting to know it–how it throws and fires, how to process and glaze it,” she says, adding, “The result is rawer and earthier than my past work.”
PHOTOS: VASE, CATHY TEREPOCKI; HEADSHOT, ANTONY CROOK
MATTHEW BIETZ | QUARTERTWENTY
What’s a quarter-twenty? A threaded fastener, one quarter-inch in diameter with 20 threads per inch. It’s simple, versatile and great at joining materials. That concise description of a bolt, as told to Matthew Bietz back in 2011, would help him name his studio devoted to the design and fabrication of architectural hardware and furniture. Quartertwenty’s signature shelf brackets, hooks, seating, tables and home accessories, in painted metal warmed up by cedar, walnut and oak, have gained a following in and out of Portland. Advocates of reusing leftover fabrication materials that others might deem waste, the designers have also fashioned custom projects for big companies, including Nike, REI and Lululemon.