Sunday, February 2, 2014

Note to Self: Design a Hat Shop in a Box

From Doodle to Design
My Hat Shop in a Box
An idle doodle, in December of 2012, turned into a piece of furniture/art now sitting in my studio. What, you say? It took a year? Yes, that's right. Mainly because the designer who made it took himself off to Chandigarh, India (the city designed by Le Corbusier) for 3 months in the middle of the process. But it's alright. I understand. I support young architects.
This was my doodle that set me off on my Hat Shop adventure.
Notice, please, the word "pivot" in the drawing. This is a reference to a design technique practiced by one of my favorite architects, Eileen Gray.
Hinged wooden cube chest painted yellow
on the exterior, gray inside, with glass shelves
by Eileen Gray.
Not quite sure of how to proceed with my vision, I contacted an architect who lives in my co-op complex, Todd Rouhe. Todd suggested that perhaps John Buonocore, who worked for him at his architectural practice, could design and make my Hat Shop. Todd and his wife, Maria, have a firm called IdS/R.
 An apartment renovation by IdS/R
Todd with a class from Columbia University, 
where he teaches, in the
 Seward Park Extension courtyard. 
I met with Todd and John to start the process. I had made a quirky, jerky maquette out of gray cardboard to try and get my idea across. They were polite and did not laugh at it. As usual I had collected notes on what inspired me.
My little Maquette.
 Cabinet in sycamore with chrome handles.
Drawers are designed in varying sizes to store
files and drawings; some pivoted, others folded out.
By Eileen Gray
 Left: Kitchen cabinet.
Right: Wooded cabinet painted black and white
and influenced by De Stijl.
Small, movable dressing table made of
steel tubing.
By Eileen Gray
 Biedermeier Writing Cabinet
Munich, ca. 1810
 Biedermeier Cabinet with Drawers
Vienna, 1815/20
Biedermeier, Dumb Waiter,
Vienna, 1815/20
 Wiener Werkstatte storeroom, Vienna, c. 1905.
 Josef Hoffmann, Sideboard
Wiener Werkstatte exhibition
Vienna, 1907
 Josef Hoffman, Salesroom of Wiener Werkstatte
fashion department in Palais Esterhazy,
Vienna, 1920.
Wierner Werkstatte Poster,
Time Travel Alert:
The Wiener Werkstatte had a store on
5th Avenue in NYC in the 1920s!
Design for a post office by Rob. Mallet-Stevens,
Biedermeier, coffee bowls,
Vienna, 1835.
John's drawing for the Hat Shop in a Box.
In January, 2013, John came back with a drawing for the Hat Shop. It would be a free-standing structure made of quarter-sawn ash. The dimensions are 40.5" x 86". The inside of the cabinet is a high-gloss white paint. The shelves are steel painted white. They are actually trays which lift out of the cabinet. John designed hanging devices for the beads that I make which are attached to the bottom of four of the shelves..

I designed the door of the cabinet based on a Mondrian painting. I went to a local paint store and selected various paint chips, which I composed for the facade design. John had the doors spray painted in the actual Benjamin Moore colors that I had selected.

 September, 2013, John and a
a friend assembling the Hat Shop.
 John Buonocore proudly stands before his work.
Done at last and looking good.

 Not only a piece of furniture, but also
a work of art.
 Hat Shop in a Box inhabited by my
hats, beads and mannequins.

If you are in New York City,
February 22 or 23, you are welcome to
attend my Open Studio from 1 to 5 p.m.

Please email me for details.

A Bientôt!

1 comment:

  1. Since I had the privilege of viewing the Hat Shop In A Box, I was fascinated with the details of this project, from beginning to end.

    Thank you for sharing the gorgeous Georgette with Hat Attack!