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bklyn designs 2010: part 4 (palo samko)

by Grace Bonney

my final day of bklyn designs is dedicated to my favorite designer at the show: palo samko. any time i attend an event where palo is showing it’s pretty much a done deal that he’s going to be my favorite part. it’s hard to put into words how thoughtful and loving all of his work feels. it’s as if he’s tinkering away in a furniture studio thinking about little surprises and details he can add to his work just because he enjoys doing it. not because it’s cool or trendy, but because he genuinely seems to love and have fun creating furniture that has some extra element of interest or cleverness to it.

this year, palo debuted two major things that caught my eye: a gorgeous wooden compass table and a set of clocks that definitely beat any time-telling device i’ve ever owned or seen. first, the compass table. this table sums up some of the major reasons i love palo’s work- the craftsmanship is impeccable and the details (clock gears used to create arrows and north/south/east/west symbols around an embedded compass) are clever and thoughtful. one of the things i loved most about this table were the little patches of wood used to cover imperfections, knots, or holes. they were like the most sophisticated and beautiful patchwork i’ve seen. i didn’t even notice them at first until i got close to check out the embedded watch gears (part of palo’s habit of collecting old watch parts) but when i did- wow. the table was quite simply a stunner. my pictures definitely don’t do it justice so i’m going to get some professional shots from palo asap.

in addition to the table, palo also showed two clocks. the first (above) was a gorgeous half circle wall clock that attached with a strip of leather, and the second (directly above) was inspired by salvador dali. i’m not sure why, but i just loved that palo was using dali as inspiration. so often when i walk around and ask people about their inspiration it’s a mid-century modern source, or something like “urban life” or “cabins/antlers/nature”. not that those sources of inspiration are bad in any way, but i haven’t seen a lot of artists drawing on dali lately. so it was delightful to see palo’s clocks and see how he created something beautiful and functional from a classic work of art.

CLICK HERE for the rest of the post (and more work from palo) after the jump!

[images above: i loved the way the joint points in this chairs were used as extra detail. rather than choosing a wood that would blend in, palo chose a much darker color so the dotted hole-covers would act as an added bit of visual interest]

[image above: the legs of a rocking chair were made from a gorgeous striped wood. i loved that little unexpected pop of stripe at the bottom]

[image above: palo debuted this handmade zeppelin at last year’s show and this year he added onto it in the most incredible way- by painting and attaching dozens upon dozens of his children’s toys. some of them had been cut in half and combined (the head of a horse the body of a toy man) and some were just playfully perched as if they were climbing a ladder up to the top.]

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