Tacoma designers Jeff Libby and Adrienne Wicks chase abandoned barns that dot the state of Washington, picturesque relics that sing of a different age. They find these trumpeters of time and bring their bones back to their birdloft design studio, which they have crafted behind their home in Tacoma. As dedicated and meticulous as birds that knowingly build a nest, this husband-and-wife team attempts to put this good wood to good use. Moss + Mineral is proud to exhibit birdloft’s fabulous eco-inspired furnishings in a group show opening June 7.
In the familiar surroundings of everyday life one finds many kinds of wood, including cedar, poplar, and oak. Yet, wooden furniture has become so cheap to produce, and so easy to consume, that most people couldn’t tell you the name of the tree their coffee rests on each morning. Artists, designers and makers, Adrienne and Jeff use primarily old-growth fir resurrected from surrounding areas of the Pacific Northwest. They work with the wood to reveal the story once hidden behind bark; for inside every reclaimed door, table, window, or board, there is a story waiting to be revealed.
If you are lucky enough to live in the Pacific Northwest you will encounter contradictions: ancient forests dry from clean-cut, evidence of an all-important lumber economy; beside flashes of a landscape familiar to modern eyes yet so different from the images once seen by the pioneers. Anyone who has experienced the attraction and warmth of an old-growth piece of lumber, with a grain like a fingerprint, knows that it is nearly impossible not to reach out and feel it. A good piece of wood is truly a multisensory experience. Jeff and Adrienne, both of whom hold Masters degrees in Architecture, make exceptional use of “live-edge”, the tree’s natural exterior curves and folds, in their designs.
birdloft furnishings oscillate between rustic, bucolic and refreshingly modern. The work demonstrates an attitude of respect for materials as well as functionality. Something profound happens when one invites such a piece of furniture into the home: a room is given a wondrous anchor sculpted by both nature and a discerning design sensibility. To own a piece of wood meticulously crafted, with its hidden story finally told, is to call a tree by its proper name. ~ Allison Phillips
Opening June 7 at Moss + Mineral – Natural Spectacle: Art and Eco-Furniture by Adrienne Wicks and Jeff Libby, Carlos Taylor-Swanson, Holly Senn, Claudia Riedener, and Harriet McNamara. 305 South 9th St. in Tacoma; 253.861.5220.