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Reviving a Stealth Classic: The Marolles Chair from Ed Clay

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Reviving a Stealth Classic: The Marolles Chair from Ed Clay

August 15, 2017

In 1947, French artist Jean Touret settled in rural Marolles, a village north of the Loire with just 450 inhabitants. There Touret founded the Artisans of Marolles, a small cooperative of friends, and began producing utilitarian oak and iron furniture. Despite the furniture’s commercial success in Paris and other European cities, the collective produced only a modest number of pieces (fewer than 100 of the dining chairs were produced, for instance).

In 2014, one of those chairs made its way to a design fair in San Francisco where Ed Clay, a furniture maker in Carneros, California, was taken with its rustic design and honest materials. He immediately contacted the Touret family and asked for their blessing to reproduce the chair; they accepted, and, working with his daughter Ariel (an alum of BDDW and currently working with Apparatus), Ed launched Furniture Marolles. Here’s a look at the line.

The first version of the Marolles chair was a milking stool with a three-legged design and carved seat that Touret made for a neighbor.
Above: The first version of the Marolles chair was a milking stool with a three-legged design and carved seat that Touret made for a neighbor.

The Marolles Chair is available for $875 through Ed and Ariel at Furniture Marolles (it’s also available at March in San Francisco).
Above: The Marolles Chair is available for $875 through Ed and Ariel at Furniture Marolles (it’s also available at March in San Francisco).
The Bar Stool (left) is $975 and has a 30-inch-high seat. The Marolles Chair with Four Legs (right) is $900. Both are available at Furniture Marolles.
Above: The Bar Stool (left) is $975 and has a 30-inch-high seat. The Marolles Chair with Four Legs (right) is $900. Both are available at Furniture Marolles.

The iron details of the chair; the original Marolles chair was made of red oak, while Ed’s interpretation is made of American white oak with the same iron details. The furniture today is made by artisans in Nicaragua.
Above: The iron details of the chair; the original Marolles chair was made of red oak, while Ed’s interpretation is made of American white oak with the same iron details. The furniture today is made by artisans in Nicaragua.
“During a career in furniture design, one encounters few pieces that truly inspire,” says Ed. “It is even rarer to have the opportunity to share that inspiration with a wider audience.”
Above: “During a career in furniture design, one encounters few pieces that truly inspire,” says Ed. “It is even rarer to have the opportunity to share that inspiration with a wider audience.”

See more of the original Marolles furniture and workshop in France at Jean Touret.

For more furniture made in the Bay Area, see:

Product summary  

Furniture Marolles

Marolles Chair

$875.00 USD from Furniture Marolles

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