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This local business takes shelving to a new (and green) level.
From the effortless way Iola Design’s bamboo shelving flows across a wall, it’s hard to imagine that anything more complex than a hammer and nails went into making something look so simple. That’s the genius behind Steven Hessler’s design. “I love, love, love bringing technology into art,” says the West Chester-based furniture artisan. “Finding ways to create a beautiful form with the help of technology is so much fun.”
Inspired by his father, a former NASA sub-contractor, Hessler decided to use 3-D computer engineering software to design shelving that appears to float without support or hardware.
“Most shelving systems have sides that come down and land on the floor, or they have significant bracketry that helps hold it up,” Hessler says, who now partners with his dad, David Sr. “We wanted to explore the idea of being able to create infinite configurations without much exposed bracketry.”
The father-son team will custom make any shelf you want, and this April they debuted a new line that incorporates illuminated glass, a collaborative effort with Rhode Island artist Deborah Goldhaft. Locally, you’ll find their work in Phoenixville’s new green-only retail store, Earth Mart, where they built the store’s main shelving unit; it flows around a tree sculpture by Glenmoore artist Michael Biddison and is made from found tree parts — just one more example that Iola is taking shelving to new heights.
Iola Design, West Chester, 610-836-1535; ioladesign.com