Irish furniture workshop Joseph Walsh Studio has showcased new commissions at an exhibition in New York, including a towering watch cabinet and intertwined bench for the private collection of a father and son.
The Cork-based studio presented the designs at the American Irish Historical Society's Reveal exhibition, which brought together a number of private commissions from Walsh's patrons to coincide with the NYCxDesign festival.
The watch cabinet, titled A Piece of Time, is sculpted from fumed oak with drawers carved from pear wood and detailed in suede. Shaped like a bulging seed case, the vessel is more than two metres tall and houses a collection of 108 watches in separate pockets spread out over 11 levels.
Described by Joseph Walsh Studio as "an object that at its very essence is horological", the cabinet contains an intricate bronze mechanism – made from over 700 parts – which references the inner workings of the watches within.
Each of the 22 drawers fan out from the main body of the cabinet to reveal the individual compartments that hold the watches. Glimpses of the internal bronze apparatus are revealed as the drawers slide out from the sculptural piece.
Accompanying the cabinet is a seat from Walsh's Enignum collection, made from ebonised ash wood with black leather upholstery. The seat snakes around the cabinet, curving around the structure so the clients can sit while appreciating their collection.
"My idea was to create a vessel form that would contain the watches, a sculpture, with a seat connected to it, so that one could spend time enjoying the watches," designer Joseph Walsh told Dezeen.
"The form of the seat wraps around the user but also the vessel, and the compartments within pivot open with a fluid movement that follows the spirit of the piece's form."
Walsh said the clients, a father and son, had requested a cabinet that would enhance the "hundreds of hours of mastery and making" that went into each watch.
"My idea for this commission was to create a piece which would be a joy to engage with and would expand the experience of collecting the timepieces," Walsh continued. "A way to enjoy the collection, the story of each watch and their relationship to each other."
Other designs in the show included the Lilium table, an intricately geometric-patterned wooden table, sculpted and carved into undulating spiral forms. Four of the Enignum collection chairs were also on display as part of a series of 24 unique seats created for the private dining room at Chatsworth House.
Walsh's designs straddle the categories of art and furniture, joining other collectible designers like Wendell Castle, whose works were recently on show at the Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Paris, and Zaha Hadid, who created her final furniture range for David Gill just before her death in March 2016.
Photography is by James Harris.
Master maker: Remi Behr
Workshop team: Russell Jacob, Timothy Harte, Benjamine LeBouc, Hortense de La Jonquiere, Jose Lopez, Declan Ryan, Shogo Watari, Rob McKenna, Jorg Berchtold and Jurgen Kranz.