Ben Grieve-Johnson, Bar&Grille Stool (TABLES, CHAIRS & DESKS 2023)

Ben Grieve-Johnson

In all my work I try to develop an aesthetic of simple hand-tool making. If there’s any meaning to the words “hand made” then it must be present and interpretable in the actual objects. If it’s not, then the words have no meaning at all. It’s a tricky thing, though, when the social, technical, and aesthetic milieux in which we live are so incompatible with making things individually, without machine templates. Often, an attempt to make contemporary objects just ends with a slightly-sht homemade-mid-century looking thing. Or you can go full vernacular but, last I checked, the people within the discourse–including my customers–are not in fact peasants and share few of their cultural or economic sensibilities. This is occasionally a relief to me as I do sometimes need money in payment and not just a sack of potatoes. Once in a while, I feel like I actually manage to get something close to right. I was quite happy with this pair of Hydrowood Tas Oak bar stools and the way they blend a broadly contemporary form with details and shapes that cannot be produced any way other than slowly.

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