Along with artisanal beer and chocolate, Brooklyn has become an epicenter of small-batch furniture making. Design studios and woodworkers are tucked away in warehouses from Dumbo to Gowanus to — in the case of Wüd Furniture Design — Crown Heights.
There, in an old industrial building recently updated to accommodate small niche factories, Wüd produces robust, clean-lined furnishings using distinctive materials and technologies of its own devising.
Wüd got its start at the first Brooklyn Designs show in 2003. The company’s founder, Corey Springer, showed one of his earliest prototypes there: a coffee table whose top was clad in scraps of lead.
“A client loved the aesthetic and wanted to use it in his brownstone, but he was concerned about safety,” recalled Springer, who has a sculpture degree from UMass. “He said, ‘If you can find a way to make this table usable, I’ll commission one.'”
“What would happen if we poured resin over it?” a colleague of Springer’s wondered — and so Pb-R, which became Wüd’s signature product, was born. (Pb is the chemical symbol for lead; R stands for resin.) Springer poured a clear epoxy resin — a two-part plastic, non-toxic and durable — over the table, then sanded it down to a honed finish.
“It’s subtle, not too slick,” he said. “It’s sensual to the touch and doesn’t reflect light like a glossy surface, so you can see what’s underneath.” And, since it’s non-porous, it made the piece nearly impervious to water damage and scratching.
A dozen years after that first trade show, Wüd, which started out doing mainly kitchens, baths and built-ins for a local clientele, has grown to eight full-time craftspeople in 7,400 square feet of space. The company now focuses on producing freestanding case pieces, tables, chairs and other furnishings.
They’ve refined their use of resin to encase all kinds of metals, including zinc, bronze, copper, aluminum and hot rolled steel, which they combine with exotic woods like Santos rosewood, striped Australian walnut, and once, in a Tribeca kitchen, ipe reclaimed from the Coney Island boardwalk.
More info and images below.
The Wüd showroom at the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC) in Crown Heights.
Pb-R, Wüd’s name for the epoxy resin product that has become their signature, being poured and torched in the resin shop.
Freestanding pieces of furniture, as opposed to built-ins, have become Wüd’s focus in recent years.
The Wüd team, with Corey Springer, who founded the company 12 years ago, in the red T-shirt, and his wife, Keren, head of sales and marketing, at far left.
Photo by Evan Sklar
Wüd’s contribution to this Brooklyn Heights kitchen by CWB Architects is a floating wall-hung sideboard made of Zn-R (zinc encased in resin), with four black-stained rift-sawn white oak doors.
Photo by Magda Biernat
For a Park Slope row house restored by Bernheimer Architecture, Wüd supplied a 100-inch-long Lolita dining table on two walnut pedestals, with a top of Zn-R (zinc encased in resin). The ultra-modern chandelier is by Apparatus.
Photo by Emily Gilbert
Wüd’s massive storage piece for a Williamsburg loft is made of vividly grained red gum and maple, with a top of HRS-R (hot rolled steel encased in resin).
Photo by Peter Dressel
The Nola Dining Table is a riff on the popular Nakashima-style live edge table. For this piece, Springer fabricated a zinc and resin edge to border a walnut slab. The butterfly joints prevent the wood from splitting and look cool, too.
Photo by Emily Gilbert
The Black and Grey Buffet is one of a dozen luxurious sideboards in the company’s catalogue. This one is made of Santos rosewood, hot rolled steel, and Zn-R (zinc encased in resin).
Photos by Hannah Frishberg unless otherwise noted
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