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Zac Feltoon not only celebrates craft on his own, but also finds manufacturing partners who do also; the production of his Repose table serves as the perfect example. “I couldn’t do it alone,” he noted.
Armed with the realization that each of his creations takes a partnership to bring it to life, he chose Wooda—a furniture maker in Wisconsin—to build this one-of-a-kind, American-made piece. “When I go to look for a manufacturer, I want to know what their values are,” he explained. He seeks partners that not only honor their specified crafts, but also recognize the people and tools that make them great. Feltoon was drawn to Wooda because of the company’s perfect blend of craftsmanship and razor-sharp CNC production capabilities. “I knew they would be able to pull this piece off and translate exactly what I was thinking.”
Read on to learn more about the vision behind Feltoon’s Repose table.
Feltoon believes that a product’s design should make its use intuitive. He achieves that by examining a variety of scenarios in which users will approach his pieces during their everyday routines, and finding the design elements that provide a unique experience to draw them out of such ritual. “I want a piece that people can ‘discover,’” he explained. “I want that surprise.”
After working through countless iterations of the design of Repose—consisting of tiny, incremental changes of what the proportion of the base to the surface of the table would ultimately be—Feltoon finally settled on the opened ring shape attached to two legs that tapered as they ascend, as opposed to the typical thinning as the leg descends. He wanted the base to convey a feeling that Repose is solid and “planted.”
The ring shape creates a more sturdy contact with the ground, which attractively counteracts the more slimming and minimal use of just two legs. But the real superstar is the cutout that allows it to fit around the leg of a bench, lounge, or sofa that the user might be sitting on. It accommodates the natural act of pulling the table up alongside you while you work, while also providing that pleasant surprise of convenience.
“I knew someone would grab the table by the edge, which goes back to that idea of ritual,” Feltoon added. “They are going to pull the table toward them. I wanted to support that by making the experience something that is deeper than just that act.” With that, he created scalloping on the underside of Repose that is “there when you need it and gone when you don’t.” It’s one of many design details Feltoon utilizes in his pieces that can’t be noticed at first glance.
Repose was born from the fluid way Feltoon works, which requires a regular change of scenery. But more importantly, he wanted to create a classic piece that could still be relevant as technology use in the workplace evolves. “I did not want someone’s first reaction to this piece to be, ‘Oh, that’s a laptop table.’ I just wanted them to say, ‘This is a table I want to use.’” And when they do, they start to discover all the exciting little details that make it exceptionally friendly.