Article by Peter Fleming

 REFRESHING NEW GENERATION of Canadian designer/makers has found equal inspiration in global design movements and locally sourced materials. This exciting collision blurs the boundaries between design and craft, revitalizes both fields, and creates new potential worlds of objects and activities. Access to digital manufacturing tools such as the CNC router, combined with a new respect for hand skills and self-sufficiency, enables the evolution of new forms that speak to both legitimacy and innovation.

Jasper Coat Rack is a modest object, or more precisely, a system of objects, by Toronto-based designer/maker Chris Pearsell-Ross. Made from sugar maple, a dense hardwood that is intimately connected with eastern Canada, the form allows for maximum flexibility and function: a moveable mirror, a series of pegs for domestic clutter, a portable key palette, all within a common language and scale.

Chris, a 2013 graduate of Sheridan’s Furniture Program, is a careful and responsible maker; he is inspired by the efficiency of the Shakers while keeping a weather eye on the future. The name of the piece is a nod to Jasper Morrison, a contemporary British designer renowned for his humble yet prescient work in many fields. One can almost imagine Pearsell-Ross and Morrison snowshoeing through the last of the March snow…inside the sugar shack, the distinctive smells of maple sugar and wood smoke meld together; coats hang on maple pegs, the buttery sheen and rosy colour of the wood belying its flint-hard durability.

From Spring/Summer 2015 Ornamentum. Click here to subscribe.

Peter Fleming is a Toronto-based designer/maker and Studio Head of Furniture in the Bachelor of Craft and Design Program at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario.

Jasper coat rack, designed by Chris Pearsell-Ross, Studio Fieldhouse, 2013
Photograph: Naomi Finlay