The second annual Design Harvest event seemed to be well attended this weekend, although it was unclear if any of the vendors were actually selling anything. I, of course, bought nothing, but saw some really nice stuff.
Seth Deysach of Lagomorph Design is an accomplished furniture maker, but it’s his bike design that puts him in a totally different category. He reminded me that the earliest bicycles were all made of wood — tubular metal fabrication wasn’t developed until the 19th century. Even so, the components of the frame and fork here are flattened, rather than rounded, to make for a more sculptural object.
I am a bicyclist, and I’m a little nutsy about making sure I don’t get caught in the rain, because — although lots of folks ride in wet weather — I have ruined at least one bicycle by letting it rust out to a degree that the gears were permanently stuck in one position. [I know single gear bikes are the hot thing now, but that wasn’t what I intended to have.] So I asked him about the practicality of this one, and he said that shouldn’t even factor in to the equation. “It’s not a bike,” he said. “It’s a chair that you can ride.” And a cool one, indeed. Also a pricey one. It’s $2750 for the frame and fork — you have to add the tires, derailleur and other components. “I’m not a bike shop, and I couldn’t really make any money building real bikes,” he told me.
Russ White is a sculptor who works as a fabricator for Deysach at Lagomorph. He showed a great piece made, appropriately, from wood scraps at the Dock 6 booth.
It reminds me a little of a Jasper Johns cross-hatch piece,
but also of early cubist works like Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase.
Anna Wolfson has been making custom wall treatments, made of clay-based paint and jute fibers, for six years. They’re richly textured and quite beautiful, although you can’t really tell in the pictures I took at the event.
But if you go to the Girl and the Goat restaurant, you can see what she does in situ.
Outside the tents, the shops on Grand were hawking their own wares. The one piece that really sent me was at a shop called Buckingham
There’s a Bernhardt mark inside the drawer; the shop clerk told me the owner had found it on a buying trip to LA and didn’t know where it came from, but it sure looks to me as if it were made for the receptionist at an Hermes store. [Where else would a high-lacquered orange finish make sense?] Asking price for the desk and chair is $7500.
All in all, a fine way to spend an afternoon when most other Chicagoans were busy watching the Bears game.