New Furniture from Egg Collective

New Furniture from Egg Collective

Though Egg Collective opened its wood shop in Brooklyn's Navy Yard in 2011, the of-the-moment design studio has been incubating for many years. Its three founders—Stephanie Beamer, Crystal Ellis, and Hillary Petrie—met when they were freshman undergraduate architecture students at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and have been collaborating ever since. "Our friendship and our working relationship have always gone hand in hand," says Ellis.

After graduating in 2006, they disbanded to pursue different professional interests but kept in contact. During the interim period between finishing school and opening Egg, the women each honed different, and complementary, skills: Beamer worked for a series of fine furniture makers, Ellis went to RISD to earn her MFA in sculpture, and Petrie honed her eye for detail by working for a custom millwork and fabrication studio.  "We each have different skills, but work together now and compliment each other nicely," says Petrie.

Left to right: Crystal Ellis, Stephanie Beamer, and Hillary Petrie of Egg Collective. The women won the ICFF Editors' Award for Best New Designer this year.

"We became more educated. You get older and see more things and you realize what you're passionate about," says Ellis about the hiatus. "When we first began to make furniture we were looking at Droog and designs that were a bit tongue-in-cheek conceptually," says Ellis. "Now we're interested in making a piece of furniture you want to hold onto rather that creating something that just makes you smile when you look at it."

"Three minds and a pad of paper" is how Ellis says Egg Collective begins to design an object. "There's a lot of sketching, drawing, and re-drawing. From the initial brainstorm we then break off into our individual roles: Hillary is the face of Egg calling subcontractors and keeping us moving forward, Stephanie is the head of production and fabrication, and I am head of creative development."

The Oscar table ($12,000) shown here is made from two of Egg's signature materials: travertine and brass. It also comes in a nickel– or copper-plated base and custom materials for the top are available. At Egg's ICFF booth, the table had a stunning breccia marble surface.

This brass credenza ($7,600) is one of the collective's first pieces. The warm metal has seen a surge in popularity, especially this year as designers experimented with ways to make modern design feel fresh.

"We looked at a lot of modernism and a lot of postmodernism during our education. Our teachers armed us with the ability to design clean, simple, functional objects and we still intend to do so; however, like previous generations of designers, we are beginning to find our own voice for our own time," says Ellis.

"We think that there are many styles appropriate for this current moment in time, not just ours. But, like many other designers, we are currently very interested in exploring how contemporary design can still feel warm, feel like it was made—not manufactured—and feel like something that is worth keeping," says Ellis.

The Hawley side table ($1,850) has a hexagonal solid brass top and a base made from pietra cardosa marble. Use solo or group a fleet together to form a honeycomb-like coffee table.

The Bradford table plays to the theme of individual pieces that can be grouped as a whole. Prices range from $610 for the triangular wood-topped table to $1,290 for the stone hexagon; the bases are blackened steel.

"In general, we're inspired by things that are well-crafted and beautiful," says Ellis. "That could be an Art Nouveau cabinet, a Shaker chair, a building by Peter Zumthor, an image of a quarry, a sculpture by Donald Judd, or the pattern on a quilt. We are always looking and absorbing."

The 12-sided Haynes mirror ($2,800) slips into solid brass or nickel-plated brass brackets. "Many of our designs are made with materials that will patina over time," says Ellis. "For example we intentionally don't laquer our brass pieces so that they will age as they are used. We think this speaks to the lifespan of our objects."

"We want to make contemporary heirlooms because we believe that if an object is well designed, is warm, and is beautiful it will be cherished," says Ellis. The Margot chandelier ($11,300) has a solid brass armature and blown-glass shades made by a craftsman in Queens.

The Tall Morrison cabinet ($7,200) in white oak.

Here's a close-up shot of the door pulls, a really delicate feature of the pieces that are indicative of Egg's attention to details and finishing.

The cabinet opens to reveal a bar station. For teetotalers—or those lacking closet space—there's also an armoire version of the cabinet. For more information, visit Egg Collective's website.


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