Bending the Future: Joseph Walsh and his Iconic Furniture

Enignum VI Canopy Bed

Serendipitously following on from the last post is this one in a similar vein. A good introduction to Joseph Walsh might be ‘wow’, followed up with questions such as how far can the human imagination extend? Does a creative muse lie behind these designs? What else does the future of modern furniture design have in store?

That Joseph Walsh is a self-taught designer-maker is an accolade in itself, given the mastery of skill and the revolutionary bentwood designs he has engineered. He has travelled extensively to Europe, America and Asia and clearly benefitted from his visits to museums, galleries and other designer-makers. Naturally, his team includes a fellow Irishman and craftsmen from France and Japan.

Joseph Walsh Lilium II

Lilium II

Walsh’s work was once described as belonging to a world of ‘functional sculpture’ and he himself talks of his work as a merging of art and design. He designs each piece as he and his team are making it. Slim, 2mm sheets of ash are glued together into a possible shape that is then carved by hand to create the final design.

The Enignum Collection
The Enignum VI Canopy Bed (above) is part of a series of furniture items that he has been developing since 2008. The Enignum name comes from a merging of the Latin words enigma (meaning mystery) and lignum (meaning wood). The range started off with a dining table and now includes a host of other tables, consoles and chairs. It takes nine months to make the Enignum VI Canopy Bed, so it may not come as a surprise that it retails at £120,000 plus VAT.

Enignum I chair

Enignum I chair

Walsh’s Enignum I and Enignum II chairs on an display at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, as part of their Make Yourself Comfortable exhibition running until 23 October 2015. Walsh has also just finished his latest commission for Chatsworth, the Enignum VIII Bed, measuring over 6 metres high.

Enignum II chair

Enignum II chair

Enignum VIII Bed

Enignum VIII Bed

 

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