It’s a wonderful thing: two people, sharing a common intent, and making something—something that each loves to do and welcomes like sunlight.
In this case, the thing that design firm Parts and Labor welcomes may not be quite to the temperature of the sun, but is extreme: hot metal.
The firm’s founders and partners are Andrew Cohen and Jeremy Levitt. Andrew’s creative source from childhood was the wood mill, while Jeremy’s was machinery. Using a triad of materials—metal, glass and ceramics—Andrew and Jeremy craft and produce custom objects for select spaces, including New York-based 9MMEDIA (below), formerly Jim Henson Studios.
Their statement on metal may speak to Process, but it also speaks to metal as an enduring creative medium:
“By taking advantage of as many processes that are available in manipulating metal, we attempt to push the boundaries to bring unique and interesting designs to fruition. Some techniques include turning, spinning, laser cutting, jet cutting, welding, fusing, forging, drilling and tapping, just to name a few. And while metal in most cases isn’t quite as pliable as materials such as ceramic or hot glass and can’t be controlled quite as easily as wood, much of what our fabricators create seem to contradict its limitations. That said, what we find to be so beautiful about the material is its strength, structure and sense of permanence. Each alloy has inherent properties which help to set a tone within each product and in each space, whether we use raw steel, stainless steel, brass, nickel or aluminum. And by incorporating other components in different materials we are able to create successful compositions.”
The term “successful compositions” is open to interpretation.
Parts and Labor’s goal is based on “integrity, originality and a love of design.” Realizing these qualities achieves success.
Yet, there is (as always) another interpretation. Parts and Labor’s successful composition is composed of relationships with people—designers, fabricators, clients—as well as tools and processes.
One practice that helps make this composition successful is hospitality: an experience most needed in good times and especially bad.
Nate Burgos is a designer who is ever-curious about design and designing at Design Feast.