Paul Loebach was born in 1972 into a long line of German carpenters and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He received a BFA in Industrial Design from Rhode Island School of Design in 2002 and immediately moved to New York after graduating to found his furniture design studio. He now works as a designer and manufacturing consultant with a broad range of American and European furniture companies, with over 200 designs currently in production at the age of 35. In addition to his consulting work, Paul produces a special line of products as a result of his ongoing explorations with cutting-edge production techniques. Imbued with historic reference and an eye for meticulously crafted detailing, Paul’s projects have become widely recognized for their ability to challenge our expectations of craft, technology, and the history of our manufactured environment. His work and writing has exhibited internationally and published broadly in books, blogs, and periodicals such as: Wallpaper*, Surface, The New York Times, and Architectural Record among others.
Keep reading for Paul’s current favorite things.
1. Enzo Mari
The “Autoprogettazione” (“self-production”) chair was originally designed by Enzo Mari in 1974, and has been re-released by Artek for 2010. Customers purchase the design as pre-cut pine boards and nails and construct the chair themselves. Mr. Mari is easily one of the most inspiring and thoughtful designers of the last century. As he famously said “For me a good designer is an old farmer who plants an oak tree, he won’t be able to enjoy the shade but his grandchildren will.” Thanks Enzo, for all the foliage.
2. Vintage Fishing Lures
Answering to a unique blend of aesthetic and functional requirements, it has been said that the purpose of the fishing lure is both to catch the fish’s attention, and to catch the fisherman’s attention. Early American lures are an underappreciated cultural treasure. Their forms are distinctive, quirky, and oddly beautiful. To see more, browse the great pictorial archives at oldfishinglure.com.
3. Traditional Broom
I had a teacher in grade school that used to punish our misbehavior by making us sit on a bench during recess while he swept the walkway. Once I asked him why he didn’t make us do the sweeping as a punishment and he replied “that wouldn’t be a punishment — sweeping is fun. Doing nothing is a chore.” I realized at that moment that my teacher was a genius and I’ve loved sweeping ever since. The “traditional broom” by Justamere Tree Farm is made of corn stems and sassafras, and is just about as nice a broom as it gets.
4. Icelandic Candy
Great stuff — enjoy it until supplies run out at Kiosk. Kiosk’s owner Alisa is a professional scouter of humble and amazing objects from around the world. She describes the candy best: “Take your basic bar, add some not too sweet caramel juice into it and voila! The closest taste I can compare it to is a thin dulce de leche with a sturdy housing of delectable Icelandic chocolate.” Yum.
5. Distortion Candlestick
This candleholder is a personal design I’ve worked on producing for years. The original is made using a special metal “sintering” machine, which fuses a powdered mixture of stainless steel and bronze into an exquisitely textured metal object. Because this particular machine is highly specialized, only a few have been produced for various design collectors around the world. Recently Areaware has begun producing the design using a mixture of marble powder and resin which, though not quite as fancy, is very affordable.