WHEN PHLOEM STUDIO’S BEN KLEBBA FOUND HIMSELF IN A BIT OF A CREATIVE RUT LAST YEAR, HE TURNED TO THE COLUMBIA RIVER FOR INSPIRATION. “Our shop is on the [river] in the Gorge about 45 minutes outside of Stevenson, Washington,” he says. “I started thinking about organic roundovers, flowing shapes, and the smoothness of river rocks.”
Eighteen months tinkering eventually led to the Zoe Chair—a solid wood seat with an organic flowing feel that Klebba says sparks a new creative era for Phloem, in which he’ll be playing with more natural shapes and gentler transitions (think the way a chair leg merges with the armrest). “So much of our early work was very linear with tapered limbs that converged very architecturally, like bridge truss structures. Then we moved into more turned shapes and softened things. The Zoe Chair is the confluence of both ideas—angular and soft.”
Zoe’s steam-bent backrest features spindle bracing and an upholstered seat in leather or wool-blend fabrics. The chair is offered in maple, walnut, or dyed black oak. phloemstudio.com
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