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brooklyn designs preview [palo samko]


blogger just ate this post a minute ago so this will be slightly shorter because i can't remember it all (sorry). brooklyn designer palo samko creates beautiful, sophisticated pieces that emphasize the natural beauty of wood, joinery and quality craftsmanship. i believe the works speak for themselves, so click here to see the full collection and be sure to check out palo samko at brooklyn designs- i'll be checking out this booth for sure. enjoy! [i'll be back tomorrow with more fresh designs. also, the mini trends will be fresh on monday!]





Anonymous jschweid@educ.umass.edu said...


just a heads up. though the craftspersonship is mey be good in these pieces, they all were designed and rendered by some of the renowned craftspeople in the us. the chair in the main pics is a sam maloof (winner of a macarthur fellowship, permenant collection at LAcMA and the Boston MFA), the bottom tall cab is a james krenow (sp?) . I may be wrong with the bottom lounge chair, but I think it's a wharton esherick. These guys are legends. it would be nice to give them credit. I mean no disrespect

thanks, jason

5:24 PM  
Blogger design*sponge said...

wait, im confused- you mean they look like chairs by those people?

im swamped, do you mind providing links to the chairs in question so we can see them all side by side? thanks. i like to make sure the facts are out there for everyone to judge.

i'm assuming you can provide links to photos?



5:31 PM  
Blogger Josh Brandt said...

I thought the same thing RE: Sam Maloof when I saw the first images. (google images) Oh, and it's James Krenov (not Krenow).

Yeah, this guy looks like a good craftsman, but he doesn't appear to be doing anything special in terms of design. (I cannot comment further on his work since his site is down. simply judging by the pictures you have here)

I grew up surrounded by early issues of Fine Woodworking, so I appreciate the aesthetic and craftmanship here, and Maloof, Krenov and Esherick are true masters worthy of a look by your readers.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Josh Brandt said...

Here is an image of Sam Maloof's signature/quintessential chair detail. Cf. with the image above.

6:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's definitely right, the top two chairs are almost direct copies of Sam Maloof pieces. And the leather lounge chair is a design by some contemporary companny - I saw it at a design show a few years back. Like the other poster said, I mean no disrespect and the craftsmanship is definitely there. But there should be at least a recognition that these are reproductions or something. I'll post links if I can find some -

9:55 PM  
Anonymous tim said...

jason's right. people have been knocking off sam maloof forever though. if you ever want to learn about studio furniture makers i could recommend some books. sam and the chair he's been making for years:



9:20 AM  
Blogger Judas said...

Its crazy but I think I forgot how good wood can look! Nice site, keep up the good work.

Poetry Politics and Piracy

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't finish the research, but I did find this site-

The chair in question by Palo Samko is very similar, though hardly a copy. There are similarities in the rocker on Samko's site and a Maloof rocker as well, but a close inspection reveals distinct differences as well.

I would be very cautious to claim Samko is copying Maloof. Maybe he did, maybe not. Forms are recycled, details quoted, etc. My assumption is that Samko is a relatively young woodworker who has many years of refinement ahead. People should be aware that it takes many years to develop a vocabulary that is unique.

I find on this site that people seem to be quick to claim that someone is a rip-off artist. I often wonder if those people are actually involved in making, or just browsers with a little knowledge. (Perhaps just enough knowledge to be dangerous). If one needs to make a comment claiming that someone is copying someone else, perhaps a more detailed comparisson of the two artists would be helpful.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous tim said...


many many fine woodworkers have made careers out of reproducing sam maloof rockers. if you're a buyer of furniture like this, you are generally attracted to a sam maloof style of woodworking - much in the same way people who are buyers of "design" are attracted to the eames' work - so if one is interested in selling one's work, this is an easy way to do it. maloof is one of those classic staples that people will continue to rip-off without shame, and most people will not bawk about simply because they're happy to have that rocker in their house whether it was made by sam or not. i certainly cannot speak for palo samko, but i am confident that he would admit to some plagerism (an uglier word than necessary, i know) if someone were to ask about his influences.

bottom line is - most of the time when something smells of a rip-off artist, there is probably a rip-off artist nearby.


10:33 AM  
Anonymous Chris said...

I most agree with everyones comments. Sam Maloof is a furniture god. Mr. Samko is doing nothing but ruining his own reputation was a woodworker. I had the pleasure of meeting and watching Mr. Maloof this past October in Atlanta, and at age 91, I believe, is a better craftsman than Mr Samko will ever be. With a 3+ year waiting list and a base price on $20,000 for an orignal Maloof low back chair speaks volumes.

3:56 PM  
Blogger design*sponge said...

man you guys are getting angry! i'm gonna leave this as the end of this post unless palo samko would like to comment. i think you've all made it clear that you think his work is similar to someone else's and that you prefer the earlier versions. let's leave it at that without any more "so and so is better than he'll ever be". and no, to the anon who tried to comment something totally harsh, i will not allow someone to call another commenter a "douchebag". lol. if you can't say your piece without resorting to schoolyard name calling then you seriously need to chill. it's a chair, just because someone does or doesn't like it, you don't need to call them a douchbag or anything else of the sort.


4:10 PM  
Blogger Design & Space said...

There's definetely controversy here... Don't know anything about it, but love the pictures and the pieces of furniture!

4:16 PM  
Blogger susan said...

these are simply lovely.they are seemingly knock offs and heavily influenced by's. but there is the craftmanship and quality there.
if anyone has been paying attention lately, most EVERYTHING is a knockoff from exactly 30 years ago ... music, art, design, clothing, furniture. it is just harder to accept when a specific artist(san) is nailed. no pun intended - nor disrespect from either side.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous jason said...

To answer Anonymous, Yes to both, being involved and possessing a little knowledge are dangerous dangerous things. too bad all I produce now are numbers, lots and lots of numbers. and yes, I do have a beautiful 'jason' version minguren chair, though I could never sell as my own (god forbid the joiner gods reach up and suck out my finger joints)

as for any controversy, ha! wood is beautiful stuff. I think all of these pieces do the felled wood they were cut from proud.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous ozlem ucer said...

Hey There! Palo is a very good friend of mine through work, i worked with him on a couple of projects, he built 4 beautiful kitchens for me in manhattan... he is an excellent guy with really good work ethics. He is very young and very talented. I think it is OK to get inspiration from the masters like Sam Maloof.
I had to put the comment, felt bad for the guy!

11:28 AM  

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