With studios based out of Alberta, Loyal Loot is a collective of designers and makers that are passionate not only about the objects they create to be part of our ordinary lifestyle, but also the stories they tell. Which in my opinion, is a rare sentiment to attribute to an every day object such as a bowl, or a chair - but that's what gives it so much value and character.
Above all, Loyal Loot prioritize honest craftsmanship, and integrity in the design, and the creation of their pieces. That's a testiment to not only the refinement of their skills as artisans, but to the quality of the objects themselves, as well as their design.
Astoundingly, the management of the brand is a two-person operation. Doha Lindskoog and Anna Thomas manage Loyal Loot out of their studios in Edmonton and Calgary, while outsourcing orders of larger quantities to trusted, likeminded manufacturers.
The Pillow Chair for instance, is a marvelous look at original, aesthetic design thinking.
The piece consists of a rectangular piece of mahogany rubber plywood, wrapped in leather for added comfort, and a clean white look. The shape of the seat was cold-formed - a process which utilizes thin sheets of plywood to be bent individually to the intended shape, gradually adding thickness and structural strength. The result is sharp and symmetrical angles, giving off a subtle, yet sleak demeanor. The seat is then positioned on a set of x-shaped aluminum legs, powdercoated in white.
Interestingly enough, the conception of the Pillow Chair was inspired by the methods and techniques used by tailors in fashion, and textile industries. It's a greatly thought-provoking example of intersecting design thinking, and outside-the-box methodology.
One of their most iconic pieces is a vibrant fusion of rustic, traditional material, and a touch of playful colour, which also places a visual emphasis on its function. The name is sweet and simple: log bowls.
Unique and idiosyncratic in every way, these beautiful pieces start out their journey as fallen trees. Found cut down by man for infastructure, or simply due to weather, these trunks of various shapes, sizes, and even species are salvaged, and brought back to the workshop to be revived as something else. They are then sliced across to proper size in cilyndrical forms, resulting in two clean, flush surfaces on either side of the cylinder.
With the original bark still attached, the piece is then turned on a laythe where the inside is slowly carved out, forming a concaved cavity in the smooth shape of a bowl.
After the finishing touches on the log, the inside of the bowl is painted with acryilic paint, and sealed with a furniture-grade finish to ensure its durability and longevity. It seems to me that these log bowls are not simply log bowls; they're rich narratives of an incredible process of craft and creativity. They tell the story of transformation and reclamation, not to mention the lavish, Northern landscape of Calgary.
Photography courtesy of Loyal Loot.
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Researched and Written by Mikhail Shchupak-Katsman, Undergraduate Environmental Design, OCAD University