BKLYN Designs 2014: Preview Brooklyn SLaB’s Artistically Reclaimed Wood Furniture

by Tafline Laylin, 04/29/14

Shannon Bowser brings an artist's sensibility to her exquisite custom furniture made out of reclaimed wood. Located in Red Hook, her studio Brooklyn SLaB specializes in one-of-a-kind designs that are ideal for tight urban spaces. Compact and often multi-functional, each desk, table and book shelf is made with salvaged materials and contrasting accoutrements - like metal legs or hand-worked marquetry. Bowser will be displaying these unique wares at the upcoming BKLYN Designs for the first time, so be sure to stop by and give some love. 

Bowser’s background in sculpture and fine arts – she earned a BFA from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – is evident in each and every piece she crafts. But her approach is also practical. Take the Mothwing Lamp Table, for example. Before we get to the woodwork, which is honestly some of the most complex we’ve seen in such utilitarian pieces, look at those legs! Simple, metal legs taper to a sharp stump. Together they are almost crude in comparison to the drawer’s incredible “moth wing” face. And yet so perfect.

Bowser has a few other pieces that will knock your design-loving socks off. Her jewelry box – the Luna Moth Box – ranks high on our list of all-time favorite pieces. The joinery is so delicate and so precise, and the interior and exterior patterns clash even as they belong together. It’s no surprise that Bowser recently received the 2014 Studio Residency at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine, where some of America’s finest craftsmen still practice a respected trade.

This work truly is art and we can’t wait to see it all in person at one of the most beloved of New York design festivals among craftsmen and women. BKLYN Designs runs from May 9 to May 11, 2014, and we’ll be there. Be sure to stop by if you’re around.

Read more: BKLYN Designs 2014: Preview Brooklyn SLaB's Artistically Reclaimed Wood Furniture | Inhabitat New York City 


Brooklyn SLaB Makes Beautiful Reclaimed Wooden Furniture

After seeing the artistry and craftsmanship of Shannon Bowser's designs, it's wholly understandable how this talented designer earned the 2014 Studio Residency at Maine's Center for Furniture Craftsmanship. Although all of her pieces for Brooklyn SLaB are utilitarian, each piece is also a work of art. The Mothwing Lamp Table is a perfect example of this: intricate woodwork is juxtaposed with simple, coarse metal legs; a pairing that might otherwise seem dissonant, but works exceptionally well here. If anything, her use of markedly different materials shows that contrast—when used well—can create startling and appealing effects. Bowser's background in sculpture and fine art is evident in her work, and we're looking forward to seeing her pieces at this year's BKLYN Designs exhibit.

Read more: Brooklyn SLaB Makes Beautiful Reclaimed Wooden Furniture | BKLYN Designs