James Esworthy, the founder of Red Star Furniture Design, designs his furniture from his Vancouver studio in BC. One look at his Esworthy's pieces and you'll notice that they spark a particular kind of nostalgia in their graceful style with an aesthetic that can be characterized as contemporary with hints of modernist minimalism.
His collection also showcases Art Deco influences, which is a sophisticated style that dominated the West in the beginning to the mid-20th century.
Art deco is short for Arts Décoratifs, which was first recognized at a 1925 international exhibition in Paris. The 'roaring 20s', as they were often called, was a period filled with great prosperity and optimism. New technology was being invented, which allowed for new methods of production and craft.
Art Deco was the culmination of this new aesthetic wave, representing exuberance, glamour, luxury, and most importantly, social and technological progress.
Art Deco, among everything else, was a celebration of exquisite craft and artisanry, paying homage to traditional styles, in a contemporary fashion. Incidentally, this is exactly what James Esworthy does in his work.
One of my favourite pieces from his collection is the Diamond Cabinet - a freestanding cabinet beautifully adorned with dyed-black boxwood veneer.
This delicate and simple structure is made of exotic East Indian Rosewood and consists of two drawers and an adjustable shelf, neatly concealed between two doors. The pattern for the piece was inspired by diamond-tufted upholstery, which is typical of classical design styles for soft seating.
Another fantastic piece from Red Star Furniture Designs is the Kaos Cabinet.
Embellished with Karelian Birch veneer, James had cut the lovely grain pattern into even squares to create an organic pattern. He had also inlaid the thin gap between them as well as the corners with African Ebony, making for a stark and eye-catching contrast of materials.
Red Star Furniture Designs is an eccentric example of beauty that's not only functional but unique and truly one-of-a-kind. It's the kind of design innovation that inspires makers and artists alike and the kind that makes me proud to be a Canadian designer.
To learn more about the brand and shop their products, visit Red Star Furniture Designs.
Interested in seeing more Canadian woodworking? Check out these houseporn.ca articles:
Photos courtesy of Red Star Furniture Designs.
Researched and Written by Mikhail Shchupak-Katsman, Undergraduate Environmental Design, OCAD University