New Product from Portland: the Saddle Bag Chair by Merkled
Who among American men hasn’t at one time another indulged a cowboy fantasy? You know the drill: weathered hat cocked forward just so to obscure the eyes, mud-dusted chaps, boots burnished to a fine patina from dust and sun: for companionship, only a reliable horse and the great landscape of the West. Portland, OR may not be the typical locus for this iconic vision of Americana, yet it took the figurative and literal machinations of P-Town’s very own Merkled to concoct an A&D incarnation of the cowboy shtick. The manufacturer’s Saddle Bag Chair joins walnut ply with vegetable-tanned leather in a symbiosis of the cowboy and the multi-tasking mensch of mid-century modern.
Saddle Bag Chair. Designed by Merkled.
Form Meets Function in a Synthesis of Leather and Wood
Saddle Bag sports its saddle bags exactly where’d you expect to find them—on user’s left and right, the most propitious of places for ease of access to documents, books, paper, pens, and whatever assorted electronica you may pack in your repertoire. Said paraphernalia may be a far cry from the blanket roll, hardtack, jerky, and knife provisioned by the old school cowhand, but if your open range is bound by four walls (as it’s bound to be), the former assortment will have to do.
The Saddle Bag chair is, of course, engaging in a bit of fooling around with the cowboy concept, yet it’s iconic in its own right. Merkled says the piece “explores the juxtaposition and integration of manmade and handmade… the walnut ply fabricated using the precision of a cnc machine and the vegetable tanned leather handcrafted and molded using traditional techniques.” The chair thus engages the innate complementarity of the materials, as it profits from the synthesis between technology and artisanal craft. Judges at the SHOW exhibition of innovative and functional furniture design would seem to agree: they gave the Saddle Bag Chair an honorable mention in 2010.