After ten years of experimentation and artistic expression as a professional woodworker, John Lindsay joined forces with his friend and mentor, Alessandro Paradiso. They commenced ten months of focused design and made a discovery that has defined the last ten years of John’s life (tons of tens), developing a singular series he calls PetalPly.
(tables and a chair)
knuckle joint as sculptural structure
New Breed has been developing a complete line of furniture, including chairs, stools, benches, side tables, coffee tables, dining tables, conference tables, desks, dressers, credenzas, consoles, shelving systems and more all based on one innovation, the PetalPly knuckle joint. Structural components such as legs, arms, and stretchers are shaped to have a smaller half round end that then tappers out into a larger half round with a doughnut like hole. When combined and rotated around a structural dowel/tenon, the effect is amazingly strong while proving to be eye catching. These shapes resemble the petal of a flower, and the layered glued components with alternating grain act like a muscular alpha plywood, thus “PetalPly”.
heirloom as a brand
With a woodworkers conviction, the aim of New Breed is to be known for more than quality, but also building products built to last, and when we say last, we mean for generations. By working with mostly all solid wood in all our products, and going against the trend toward the phony veneer technologies, using all solid wood joinery, we build into each product the added value of heirloom longevity. In theory, our furniture, unless destroyed by natural disaster, can be repaired and refinished endlessly, made like new for hundreds of years in the future. Add to that, our designs are also timeless, and you get furniture future grandchildren with fight over.
power of the penetration
Forgive us, this sounds naughty, but really it’s true. These early pieces became instantly popular because of the sculptural nature of the penetrations that lets both light and space travel through each piece creating an experience in which as you move around, especially the tables, you get to see the understructure and legs through the center opening and the slots emanating from the center. Not only are the penetrations unique, but the structure such as the legs and arms are passing up to the top, blurring distinctions between tops and bases. The radiating opening are not only intriguing visually, but also serve an important function, they are elegant wood expansion solutions that control wood movement, and allow for any sized top.
(case-goods and desks)
superstructures and suspended storage
After the initial group of products consisting of a chair and a variety of tables were created, John Lindsay taped into his nearly two decades experience with custom cabinetry and millwork, and hit the ground running with sub-series two (casework). The initial product was a desk that established the language for the rest of the sub-series. The main innovation was with the relationship between the super structure, the legs and arms tied together with a continuous dowel that served both a structural stretcher and a three way through tenon. made of 1inch solid material, it offers the needed strength to hold in suspension thin skinned cabinetry.
drawer box and cabinets universalized
Next, was the decision to have the cabinets share the exact same parts and construction methods as the drawer boxes, using half inch solid material everywhere with tongue and groove joinery. This universalization of the parts allows for dedicated machines ready to handle any demand. The cabinet edges have one inch half round face-frames that visually match the tops, while leaving the necessary inside space for concealed hardware. This is needed for the handles to also serve as running slides.
handles turning into slides
The final touch, the jewelry of the whole ensemble, is the inventive handle that runs horizontally, wrapping along the sides, and doing double duty as the slides. These three eight inch dowels dado into a eighth inch aluminum bar which is then dadoed into the drawer face and sides. Speaking the same language as the larger structural dowel toward the back and the one inch half round edging, this elegant solution can be used in multiple handle configurations, and becomes another signature feature in the PetalPly language.
kid A sub-series
square edged tops
Developing sub-series one and two, working with oblong shapes, half round edges, and interesting penetrations, was all about breaking from the norm. Next, I wanted to see if the PetalPly system could apply to more conventional tops. Kid A is all about rectilinear solid wood slabs with straight edges and a trestle type base that can support detachable file cabinets. The tops are both practical and beautiful to an extreme, and it was the understructure that invited creative expression, with an upside down triangular connector to the top that is sandwiched (ply) between two spreading legs. Sometimes the legs are spread equally (see Kid A Conference Tables), and other times they shift asymmetrically (see Kid A Desk) like when you have your hand on your hip, transferring all your weight to one leg. The point of the second approach is to move the dowel/stretcher to one side to allow enough room for a cabinet to attach, making the table a desk. These same tables can be put together in pairs to make a perfect conference table.
nuts and bolts
Again, developing sub-series one and two, working with all solid wood and solid wood joinery, was all about making heirloom a feature. The idea is that if everything is made of solid wood, each piece can be endlessly refinished, meaning that each piece can be made brand new hundreds of years in the future. This goal steered us away from the use of veneers, hidden substrates, and mechanical fastners. Next, I wanted to see if heirloom could benefit from mechanical fasteners by controlling for wood movement while also doing the work of holding flat the tops. With the use of long bolts, washers, and nuts made to go through the upside down triangulated connectors, and long stepped dados that have metal strapping to work in concert with the bolts, washers, and nuts, this mechanical solution allows for both seasonal movement of the wood tops, while offering the option to move the leg assemblies to a number of different positions. This option allows for a number of configurations for both desk and conference table applications.
Kid A cabinets
Developing the cabinets for all of sub-series two, working with thin cabinet components, was all about suspended cabinets off super structures. Next was the challenge of designing a cabinet that could be used independently, strong enough to support its own weight, and endure the pounding of a free standing cabinet. These cabinets are multi-purpose objects, attachable to the long dowels, and made to slide left or right, allowing different seating configurations. they can also be detached from the desk and used as a separate work top. This desk was originally designed for commercial applications and included a family of accessories such as cork faced privacy panels, electrical grommets, attachable shelves and lighting elements. Also, a mobile base for the cabinets is an option.