Canada is blessed with an abundance of design talent, which comes together each year at the Interior Design Show in Toronto every year. This year, we were lucky to meet some of the innovative people behind the products in the exhibition, and are able to showcase some of the best finds and brightest minds in the industry.
One of our favourites is Ottawa-based furniture maker Christopher Solar, who returned to Studio North this past year with his gorgeous lounge and rocking chairs:
He aptly describes his look as “restrained exuberance.” Organic shapes, curves and clean details come together in Solar’s series, which includes chairs, benches, mirrors and lights.
“Furniture is a complete discipline to me,” says Solar, who previously worked in tech and has a background in computer engineering. “It has a really creative, sculptural side but for it to be successful, it must also solve a functional problem. [Furniture design] is a left- and right-brain activity together.” Solar will show a line of “fraternal twin chairs” – a lounger and a rocker – at the IDS this year.
His series is a departure from the one-of-a-kind, custom-built pieces he’s taken to Toronto in the past, though made-to-order mantra is still something Solar wants to emphasize about his work.
“There is a lot of opportunity for customization [in this craft], which is a differentiator for me. Doing one-of-a-kind pieces is exciting,” he explains. “It’s different and it’s terrifying because it’s different. I use the analogy of a chef who owns a restaurant with no menu: sometimes clients feel like eating something they will have never made before.”
Apparently, Solar is like the type of joint that likes to change its menu every six months. Luckily, his lead time is only six weeks.
The minimalist form and function is evident in Solar’s series. Rectangular wood frames characterize his pieces. He says he hopes to create “something you want to live with for the next 20 years.” Solar showcased his latest foray into lighting at the Toronto Interior Design Show, which is something he’s been trying to get going since he bailed out of high tech and found his way into furniture making in 2006.
His products are available to the public at Ottawa-area stores Alteriors and The Modern Shop. You can also find him online at Christopher Solar Studio Furniture, on Facebook, or on Twitter @SolarFurniture.