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Modern as the geometry of this chair suggests, designer Gaurav Nanda also took inspiration for the backrest from structural design of old Amish barns. "Our Farmhouse Chair is as sturdy as an antiquated piece of farm machinery," says the Los Angeles-based designer, "And as easy to relax in after 10 hours on the clock as a pair of worn out dungarees."
That's right, even though these chairs are from iron wire. Unlike just about every wire chair on the market, Bend chairs are comfortable. Gaurav spaces the wires less than a quarter-inch apart, making them a pleasure to sit on. Each piece is machine-molded and undergoes upwards of 400 handmade spot-welds—a process Gaurav refers to as “bending.” Each bend is carefully arranged to ensure structural strength, while the angles of the back, the curves of the seat, and the closeness of the wires are designed to encourage relaxation, comfort and utility.Gaurav, who grew up in the Detroit suburbs and even spent part of his design career at General Motors, draws pattern inspiration from his childhood: the intricate macramé his mother made; string art Spirograph drawing sets. (He was also a part of the design and conception of Clocky with his sister Gauri). What’s more, the collection is made of an iron that can be repeatedly recycled (something for your green heads), and all pieces are sandblasted, then pre-treated with anti-rust zinc primer and powder coated for extended life right in Gaurav’s L.A. studio.
Around the Bend is a bright and happy place to be when speaking of the cool iron wire furniture from Los Angeles' own Bend Goods. In true Southern Cali style, these corrosion-resistant pieces with their pop of powder-coat color can easily meander from indoors to outside. Sculptor, designer and entrepreneur Gaurav Nanda perfected the signature process he calls "bending"—shaping and spot welding the wire by hand—to achieve intricate patterns in Bend's furniture, lighting and accessories.
Michigan native Gaurav, formerly a designer for General Motors, values performance just as much as polish. The structural strength of each piece of furniture is contract grade, while the ergonomics and the spacing of the wires assure comfort and utility. Environmental impact is also a concern, and he envisions each piece as something built to last a lifetime, fabricated from the plentiful resource iron and sustainable woods. Though Gaurav's work draws on the legacy of modernist objects in wire, he wants "to offer something different, something edgier."
Of his brand Los-Angeles-based company Bend, founder Gaurav Nanda says he wanted "to offer something different, something edgier, a lot more intricate and comfortable" in the realm of wire furniture than the usually-admired but heritage Bertoia designs for Knoll. For inspiration Gaurav looked to an unlikely combination of sources: his own stint as an automobile sculptor/designer for General Motors on the one hand and an appreciation of 1970s-influenced crafts, including string art and the knotted patterns of macramé plant holders made by his mother, on the other.
Gaurav's attention to the production process is unstinting—for example, each chair undergoes 300 to 400 handmade spot-welds (a process called "bending," hence the company name) and is painstakingly sandblasted, rustproofed and powder-coated to a weatherproof finish. Expanding his range beyond furniture to decorative objects was a natural progression. "Inspiration comes from everywhere but music plays a crucial role in my process. New songs and artists are constantly playing in the workshop, which makes for a lively and happier work environment too," he says. "It is exciting to see our ideas evolve and where we want our story to go."