Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bladon Conner = Southern man, furniture maker, photographer :)

Bladon Conner is a Chicago furniture maker and designer, originally hailing from Southern Mississippi where he was educated in architecture. After a number of years in the corporate architecture setting, he took a chance on the hands-on world of furniture building.

Bladon got his start blending vintage furniture with photography – using his graphic images as veneers over discarded modern furniture. He continued his furniture education while remaking pieces for retail at Scout, Haus, and Post27. In the process he learned a variety of skills which allowed him to enter the world of custom furniture. The majority of his work these days is custom, often still using reclaimed materials but challenging them in unconventional ways.

Whether using photos or not, he creates pieces that explore the relationship between material and graphics, the boundary between 3-d and 2-d, form and surface. In this exploration he uses both conceptual and real tensions as spring boards for ideas. In his photography, it is the play between the crisp organization of architecture versus the chaos of graffiti art – which might wind up as cabinet doors or a lampshade. With materials it is, for example, the “interplay” of fire and wood, using a blowtorch to blacken and open the grain in some reclaimed floor boards – to then be used as a table top.

It’s the search for where these tensions and contradicting themes overlap, where they can exist in balance, that helps guide his process. The more contradicting, the harder the solution – but the more exciting the result.

He got his start with photography, and only began building furniture to explore the idea of using photographic veneers. Thus he has a large library of images available for purchase. These can be ordered as prints with sizes from 8x10 up to 30x40. Blandon also offers these drymounted, clearcoated, and framed with an aluminum edge. Additionally, these are images available for use in his furniture, such as the 'Frame' table, which is super cool!

As far as his photography, his most widely photographed cities are New York, Chicago, New Orleans, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, London, and Rome, as well as a variety of other locations throughout Italy, Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and the South of France.

To find out more about Bladon or where to purchase his amazing product, please visit

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