A Williamsburg company that builds custom bikes to last a lifetime
by Cool Hunting Video in Design on 23 April 2014
Thomas Callahan, owner of Horse Cycles, invited CH to his Williamsburg workshop to show us around and explain a little about his impressive craft. A sculpture major in art school, Callahan had a knack for fixing his friends' bikes—and that hobby quickly shifted into a career building bikes from scratch. Callahan's intention is creating the perfect sized bike for a customer; encouraging the new owner to treasure it and ride it forever.
The custom furniture-maker launches mini-production runs of his favorite pieces
by Fiona Killackey in Design on 23 April 2014
CH first spoke with Costa Mesa native, Sean Woolsey back in early 2012 when we discovered his pipe lamps, sheet metal paintings and love of the outdoors on Instagram. After three years, the artist and self-taught furniture maker has decided to create mini-production runs of his favorite pieces, rather than purely 100% custom designs. The first is the Haack Table, commissioned by and named after his good friend, photographer Ryan Haack.
Regarding the design's beginnings, Woolsey says, "I have been working with wood and steel for a while now, and I’ve recently gotten into complicated and more geometric-shaped base designs. I wanted to make a dining table design that could easily fit six people and that could double as a desk." The designer is currently taking orders for the piece and is open to alternative colors, but the original design has an American Black Walnut top "and has a laser-engraved leather patch embedded. The base is a one-inch square tubing, with a powder-coated finish."
Woolsey's process is meticulous and time-consuming, with plenty of craftsmanship involved. "I hand-shape the top edges of the table with a spokeshave and various hand-planes to get a organic-shaped round over on the top and bottom edge. Seeing the table up close, it's very obvious that it was shaped and made by human hands—and I take huge pride in that."
A true creator, he is not only happy to customize the Haack table according to orders, but also considering crafting different iterations of the piece, having it be "morphed" into a coffee table, dining table or a ping-pong table.
Woolsey firmly believes there is an increasing move towards handmade and handcrafted goods—not just furniture, "I feel like it is at the apex at the moment and will really be interesting to see what happens next. People want to know where things come from more than ever now, and know who made them. People are intrigued by process and story, which is very empowering for individuals who hand make things right now. Then you have this other aspect of how DIY our culture is now, lots of people are even making their own things, educating themselves through online courses or videos online, and getting their own hands dirty."
On the creative process, the designer's mantra is simple, and he offers it to everybody—not just those in the industry, "Keep your overhead low, trust your gut, and follow your heart."
Images courtesy of Ryan Haack
Personality-filled tabletop and hanging planters to surprise and delight
by Katie Olsen in Design on 23 April 2014
Spanish company Wacamole Ceramic was founded in 2013 as a joint venture between friends Luis Llamas and Lydia de la Piñera—a sculptor and designer, respectively. The duo creates handmade ceramic tabletop and hanging planters that are sweet, playful and entirely delightful. On the inception of the brand, the pair tells CH, "We were always inspired by the world of ceramics. Development with this material started in our own ceramic studio and we continued the evolution of learning and researching in the creative possibilities for the present and future."
Because each vessel is different—each one is modeled and painted by hand—there is an extra special element to owning one, or giving one away. Of the meticulous and time-consuming process, Llamas and de la Piñera say, "Every pot is naturally imperfect; true craftsmanship. Modeled and decorated one by one—no moulds—they are little pieces of art. Each piece is modeled, revised, glazed and taken care of with affection. This process is very slow, we always try to do small sets. For us, with anything that is made by hand, time becomes relative."
With little legs that stick out, dangle below or hang over the side of a table, these cutesy vessels are simple but full of personality and are made with the intention to simply brighten owners' days. "We hope can transmit good feelings through them. We hope that people understand its value and design. We like think that our design leaves our studio and can be anywhere in the world thanks to the internet, and that is very gratifying for us. We try to brighten the corners of every house."
Images courtesy of Wacamole Ceramic