Tim Byrne Salvaged Modern Furniture
Exhibitors at ICFF are always looking for a way to draw in a crowd. Techniques include crazy awnings, large signage or groups of oddly clad workers putting together shiny light boxes. Towards the back of the space I came across a white box which offered only a glimpse of what was inside. The box was a miniature showroom with a few large tables and no explanation past a few post cards. Rightfully displayed as pieces of art, the tables looked like perfectly preserved pieces of machinery topped with glass or highly finished pieces of wood.
African Rosewood Budinga Table. Designed by Tim Byrne.
Tim Byrne, a furniture maker in Connecticut, describes his aesthetic as vintage industrial. Mr. Byrne is an Irish immigrant, trained as a cabinet maker, who is taking advantage of the Industrial Revolution as many immigrants did, only about 100 years after it was common practice. Inspired by chic urban design he saw at New York City flea markets, Byrne has elevated industrial modern design by allowing the pieces to speak for themselves.
Reclaiming objects and giving them a new life is an age old practice of sustainability. Steel tables, cast iron cranks and gears need not be melted down and reused for a contemporary purpose, but instead can be transformed. Byrne scours factory liquidations and salvage yards for industrial parts which he meticulously cleans up and puts back to work. He takes pride is reusing some pieces for their original purpose, such as tables which have gear cranks to change the height depending on the desired function. The end result are pieces which are elegant and industrial, making them appropriate in a wide variety of spaces.