DIMENSIONS: 73"W x 15"D x 75"h
Brother Shelf was inspired by utilitarian shelving in the Brethren Workshop at Shaker Village. It uses nothing more than the essential geometry needed to stand upright, but nevertheless has a playful appearance. The array of triangular crossbars in the Brother Shelf are a simple solution that keep it from leaning to the side and also eliminate the need for messy cross brace hardware. Consequently, the shelf can be used either one-sided (against the wall) or two-sided (as a room divider).
MATERIALS: Birch plywood, pine
Large Basket: 20.25"d x 7.25"H
Serving Tray: 20.25"D x 4.10"H
Bread Basket: 14"D x 6"H
Mushroom Hunting Baske:t 14"D x 15.5"H
Hancock Baskets were inspired by a visit to a storage room at Hancock Shaker Village. Four baskets make up the family - a Large Basket for laundry or magazines, a Serving Tray, a Bread Basket, and a Mushroom Hunting Basket. They incorporate details from various baskets we liked in the archives, but the material is modern bent plywood - which we think the Shakers would have wholeheartedly embraced for its strength and lightness.
DIMENSIONS: 9"L x 5.75"W x 1.5"H
The Hand is a pine toy with a magnetic removable thumb (just for fun). The shape comes from a Mitten Mold used by Shakers to shrink knitted woolens to proper size.
DIMENSIONS: 33.5"L x 22"W x 14"H
Sister Table is an unassuming coffee table that takes cues from a stone sink in the Sister's Diary at Shaker Village. The table has friendly rounded corners, a handy carrying handle, and a lip around the edge that holds everything neatly in place.
DIMENSIONS: 13"L x 8"W x 6"H
Finnish innovation of the dish rack has a proud history, so it felt only natural to design such an object. It was a visit to a museum in Mika's hometown that first got us thinking about this dish rack. We noticed an early Finnish dish drying rack bent from green spruce branches. Opposite from what you would think, early Finnish wood objects were often made from organic curves rather than straight boards. Whenever possible the maker took advantage of the natural joints in the tree – crooked branches became ergonomic handles, a naturally curved trunk became a comfortable seat. Over time, familiarity with the properties of trees allowed them to manipulate wood, shaping it into "jointless" curved components that were stronger than straight pieces. We joke that there must have been some Finnish Shakers because the objects we enjoyed most at Hancock Shaker Village felt so utterly familiar in construction and spirit. In both cultures, the wood used for tools and other household objects was often bent to the desired shape. In both cultures, details come from an object's utility rather than being just ornament for ornament's sake. An homage to both, our dish rack makes use of bentwood dividers because they are strong, functional and decidedly un-straight.
COMPANY / Studio Tolvanen
DESIGNERS / Julie Tolvanen, Mika Tolvanen
LOCATION / Helsinki, Finland
Studio Tolvanen is the product design office of Mika & Julie Tolvanen. Mika is a Finnish designer who started his own practice after graduating from Royal College of Art in 2001. Julie is an American designer who worked 10 years as a professional woodworker before moving to Finland in 2009 to get a masters in furniture design. They founded Studio Tolvanen in 2015, where they work together developing their designs into products for residential and contract use. Their studio and workshop are located in a former bakery in the Töölö neighborhood of central Helsinki.