Brooklyn's Palo Samko is another designer I've been keeping my eyes on for a few years. A similar thing happened for me with him this year, where I believe his body of work is now large enough that a true voice has begun to emerge that hadn't been quite prominent enough before. What I began to notice is a sense of mystery and discovery in his work that I think is just fantastic.
The first thing I noticed was the "Constellation Dining Table":
The legs evidently have birds on them, but I can't find them. The great thing here though, is a bunch of tiny watch gears inset into the top of it:
All his work is doing this kind of thing. You won't catch it just out of the corner of your eye, but if you really look closely, there are all these fun, cool little things to discover.
Here's the "Beam Dining Table":
You see the legs have these nice stripes to them. Well, they're actually made from individual pegs of different woods. But that's not all; he has them piercing up through the top surface of the table, so the mosaic-like pattern of different woods creates a decorative element at each of the four corners.
Then hidden under the table there, invisible from one direction, are three swinging birds. You'd have to be sitting on this closer side to even know they were there.
The birds are more obvious, but no less delightful, in the "Clara Coffee Table":
I'd like to think that, on a breezy summer day with the windows open, they'd swing and bob on their own, giving this piece a kinetic personality.
The "End Grain" desk and coffee table both have secret compartments in the top:
I'm a sucker for secret compartments, don't ask me. But if you look closely, they both have cylindrical "pencil drawers" you can pull out from the sides. The "Constellation" table has one, too--which I'd assume could also hold silverware--and at the show, if you opened it, you'd discover there were little cows or something in it. I thought that was awesome. But Samko's whole booth was great. The table had a tiny bicyclist on it pulling a blimp:
The way the pieces were displayed and accessorized really pulled his vision into sharp focus. His booth was a lot of fun.
He was also showing this "Propeller Lamp":
The propeller is just such a great, whimsical detail with so much character, but it's also a small drawer:
©2009, Ryan Witte