1840 Journal

Meet the artisans, discover their expertise, and share their passion.


Skills Serving Simplicity

4 Jul 2019

Series: Design in Moving Season

Moving season is here and we took this opportunity to ask Anthony and Valérie from Atelier Filz to look into Fabrique 1840’s designer community. The result? Four thematic articles analyzing their products by relating them to global ethical and aesthetic trends.
This article is the second in the series.

Whether you’re slowly getting used to your new home or the return of long-awaited hot summer breezes inspires you to revisit your interior design, we all know that styles and trends come and go, but quality design lasts forever. To choose pieces of furniture that will be with you for a long time, a concept that blends simplicity and expertise is sometimes the best way to achieve uncluttered decor that stands the test of time. 

Photo credit: https://www.alvaraalto.fi/en/information/alvar-aalto/

By taking a closer look at the work of Alvar Aalto, an architect and icon of Scandinavian design in the last century, we were able to understand the importance of tactility and what texture can add to a space. Also a co-founder and designer of Artek, Aalto was fascinated by wood and wanted to explore its possibilities, discover its limits, and see what could be created with modern manufacturing processes. Having a keen sense for composition and for creating harmony amongst materials, the various houses and villas Aalto created demonstrate the richness of a space that’s in dialogue with humankind. Today, Villa Mairea, built in 1939, is not only a wonderful example of the skill of the architect and designer, but also of the builders and craftspeople who worked on every detail of the house, from the handrails on the main staircase to the brass light fixtures and all the curved wooden furniture.

Coolican & Company: Outlining Mastery

Although this villa is utterly out of the ordinary, our team truly believes that the same in-depth dialogue between the designer and the user can be found in the unique pieces made by our local craftspeople. Consequently, whenever we look at Coolican & Company’s Palmerston stool, made by joining together dowel-like bars with soft outlines, we can only think about the hours spent mastering its every detail. This seat was obviously designed to accommodate the flexibility of the human body.

This is an example of a form that’s simple and subtle, yet strong and carefully crafted, allowing us to grasp the importance of design and traditional craftsmanship. When the item refers to its own essence, when we look at it and realize in some unexplainable way that everything is in its right place, that's when we know that this item will be around for a long time.

hollis+morris: Sustainable Design

Hollis+morris also has sustainability in mind when they design and create their different objects. The natural qualities of the materials used are celebrated in each of the creator’s pieces, items that are designed to complement indoor spaces. Whether we look at their (gorgeous!) umbrella stand whose massive blackened oak base balances its light steel holder, or at their airy, yet modern Link light fixture, we picture these pieces in a sleek and streamlined decor, an environment where simplicity allows you to achieve a beautiful visual balance.

Lambert et Fils: Simplicity as a Symbol of Proximity

On a more personal note, we are truly proud to see Lambert et Fils share the values of Fabrique 1840. In doing so, the company clearly shows its desire to build bridges with people. We both had the chance to work alongside Samuel Lambert in the company’s early years. At the time, there were only eight or nine employees and everything was custom-made.

With the remarkable international scope they enjoy today, the interest of their creative team is now turning towards the production of illuminated objects, almost all of which are driven by a concern for the balance between point, line, plane, and volume. That is exactly what we find in the Laurent collection. Made of two spheres with a separator in the middle, the Laurent 3 leaves its mark on our imagination due to its soft, yet strong presence. We will always be impressed by the work of a glass blower who we asked to create a perfect sphere over and over again! This is another excellent example of a passion for work that’s well done and a mastery of manufacturing and assembly details. It's no coincidence that the Mile 03 light fixture, the result of a collaboration between Guillaume Sasseville (Coop Établi) and Lambert et Fils, was shown at Musée de la Civilisation de Québec accompanying a retrospective exhibition of the work of the great Quebec industrial designer Michel Dallaire.


Anony and Allstudio: Minimalism That Makes Its Mark

We wanted to highlight the creations of those who, from the beginning of their career, have impressed us with their attention to detail and the simplicity of their design. Allstudio, created by two young designer from Montreal, offers a series of jet-black plant pots that naturally contrast with green vegetation. Work them into your decor wisely—close to a window, on the floor, or on an accent table. In Toronto, Anony’s creators have invested themselves in creating light fixtures, like the “very simple” Globe series, which allow you to create different configurations and decorate your decor in a minimalist way. This is the sort of light fixture that you’d hang near your bed or grouped together over a staircase.

We’ve been lucky enough to work with and observe different craftspeople while they create, and when they put their all into each detail, when their hearts are fully invested, and when their eyes glow with passion for their work, one thing is certain: nothing is more complex and demanding than simplicity!

Written by Atelier Filz


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Discover the other articles in this series: 

1. The Art of Revisiting Traditional Trades
3. The Geometry of Colour
4. Renewing Your Basics

Atelier Filz
Combining interior design with object design, this young company from Quebec City loves working with local craftspeople. For their team, the work of our creators is imbued with meaning and human depth, which elevates our homes' decor.