Shaker Simplicity Meets Danish Modern in the Awesomely Elegant "Portland Chair"
Portland meets Portland! A new chair combines East Coast and West Coast inspirations from Oregon’s Phloem Studio and Maine’s mid-century furniture company, Thomas Moser.
“They called me up and said, what do you think of designing a piece for Moser?” Ben Klebba, Phloem’s owner and lead designer, says. He jumped, maybe even more appropriately hurdled, at the opportunity to design a dining chair for the 43-year-old company, which Klebba calls “iconic” in the furniture world. Three trips to Maine later, the Portland Chair was born.
The Portland Chair was designed after Klebba met Adam Rogers, Creative Director for Thomas Moser, in 2013 at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City. The two had like-minded design standards for high functionality, formal simplicity, and quality, hand-crafted wood working.
“Thinking about how people are going to use something and how it will fall into their background is inspiring to me,” Klebba says.
Pulling design ideas from Shaker simplicity and Danish modernism, Klebba says the Portland Chair is a testament to Portland (Oregon!), with a high-design look and a bespoke feel. The classic Moser style is represented in the chair’s exposed joinery, while something new for Moser was the chairs uniquely tapered legs.
“They were excited about doing this thing because it was a weird, odd-shaped leg unlike something they've done before,” Klebba says.
The Portland Chair was designed in Klebba’s Phloem Studio, birthplace of three furniture lines that include lounge chairs, desks, a love seat, and cabinets. Tucked away in a wood shop in the back of Beam and Anchor on N Interstate Ave, Phloem has slowly, but steadily grown for six years Klebba says.
The Portland Chair was made available for purchase Sept 18 online, while Phloem Studio products retail at Beam and Anchor and the Museum of Contemporary Craft.