This week, Room by Room with FormFire Glassworks takes a look at a natural side of modernism, the works of George Nakashima.
Combining his Japanese heritage with the woodworking of the Pacific Northwest, George Nakashima created furniture pieces starting in the 1950s that celebrated the intrinsic beauty of wood, both in shape and grain. Inspired by specific pieces of cut hardwoods, he created one of a kind items from coffee tables to desks to chairs. Trained as an architect, he had a very modernist bent, but with his own special twist, keeping his style warm yet simple. The walnut desk shown here is a combination of the planar and volumetric elements of modernism and the as-is natural form of planed wood enhanced with butterfly joints, both for aesthetics and strength.
As a reminder that modern style does not eschew nature, I have picked a few accessories that use natural materials or are inspired by the forms that nature provides us. Wood is formed into a slab tealight holder and decorative blocks that not only look lovely as a vignette, but are fun to stack and arrange. Weeping willow branches become a spiky wreath, while soap housed in felted wool echoes the shape of river rocks. Inspired by local moss, a embroidery wall hanging brings the outdoors in.
Next week I will choose a new iconic piece and give you my picks for accessorizing your modern home.