Any architect or antique aficionado knows that there was a time, now long gone, when beautiful heavy timber was abundant and wood of all kinds was plentiful. Taking found antique wooden objects, old beams, and 10o-year-old furniture pieces that are falling apart, Varian Designs makes compelling contemporary benches, tables and hybrid furniture sets from classic shapes and recycled materials.
The history of the constituent woods is evident in the attention to detail and careful joinery as well as the aesthetics of the connections used, including steel plates and bolts that reference the once-architectural functions these once had as part of structural wood beams and columns. Many (such as the first wood desk design shown above) pull pieces from various periods and past projects and fuse them into hybrid new works.
While there is much that is traditional about these pieces in terms of their construction and materiality, there is also something distinctly modern about their simple lines. There is also the unique way in which the use of structural typologies normally associated with buildings but applied here to new wood bench, table and design designs.
“Forest Dickey is the founder and lead designer at Varian Designs, named to honor his late grandmother. He obtained undergraduate degrees in Fine Art and Art History at the University of Chicago before later completing his Masters in Fine Arts in Furniture Design and Woodworking at San Diego State University.”
“Inspired by the quality of tradition, and created with sustainable, reclaimed, salvaged materials he launched his first five “core” designs, the Timber Collection. Currently, Varian has released fourteen designs spanning three collections. The collections continue to grow as Dickey follows his inspirations.”
“Varian’s design philosophy is founded on the concept that a well-designed piece of furniture is one that will remain just as fresh and interesting in fifty years as it was the day it left our studio. We strive to create designs with longevity in style, complimenting trends and appealing to people who appreciate classic design.”