You may know Edgar Blazona for his TrueModern kids furniture line. Yes, the pieces are loved as evidenced by the photos from our customers showing their cute kids posing next to a TrueModern dresser. And you may have helped Edgar with the naming of his new Edgar Blazona for TrueModern sofa line (congrats, Penny, it appears your ideas were winners!). But, what you may not know is that Edgar Blazona has led quite an extensive and interesting career in the design world. Take a look at where he has been and what he has in store for us soon. Enjoy!
Edgar, you have quite an extensive background…we want to hear all about it! Tell us more about your time as a furniture designer for Pottery Barn, the creation of the ice chaise lounge for the Ice Hotel in Sweden, your Modular Dwellings, etc. Share pictures too!
My time at Pottery Barn was great. I will always be thankful for what they taught me about the furniture manufacturing business. I would not have traded that experience for anything. The only thing that Pottery Barn lacked was clean, modernist design. But I always knew that I could get back to modernism at a later date.
I was given the opportunity to go to Sweden to the Ice Hotel. A good friend of mine was part of the creative staff there. When I arrived there, it was so cold and freezing that the ice would crack if left outside. They set me up in a warehouse with stacks and stacks of ice – 4 ft. by 8 ft. bricks of ice everywhere. I was given a chain saw and a few large chisels and I got to work. It didn’t take long to figure out what I could and could not do with the ice. The hardest part was making it perfectly flat and smooth. Not to mention, it’s not so easy carving a 90 degree angle with a chainsaw in the freezing cold. The piece turned out great. It definitely reminded me of Donald Judd and some of his early cast concrete works. The hotel was nice enough to put it in the lobby, which made my really proud.
When I was at Pottery Barn, I had to create something that was a little more simplistic and true to my roots. I was struggling with the “everyday living” lifestyle. I started creating prefab housing in the beginning before the prefab bubble exploded on the design community. Everyone else was working on full houses trying to get them down to the magic $100 per sq. ft. price point. These were mostly architects working on paper and 3-D renderings. I have always lived by the philosophy of “build it first” and not spend so much time tweaking out the drawings. But building a house as a prototype was quite expensive, so I scaled it down to make it affordable for not only myself but for the community to actually buy and own. I felt like we were trying to fill our Victorian style homes with modernist furniture and there was a real disconnect. I thought that people could create these buildings in their backyards, fill them with cool furniture and have a complete modern look at a reasonable price. This turned out to be harder than I ever imagined to get large prefabricated panels or structures in people’s yards. There are other companies out there today who took it quite a bit further than I ever did. Modern Cabana being one – one I really respect.
What is your workspace/studio like?
I design and run the business out of a small prefabricated building (www.modulardwellings.com) which I designed several years ago. It sits in my backyard here in Berkeley, CA. I also have a warehouse Read the rest of this entry »