a conversation with Azadeh Shladovsky

"Design is very personal for me, a balance of visceral and intellectual processes.
If I am true to myself, then ultimately I know that my designs will appeal to those individuals who have an affinity for quality, nuance and imagination."

There is an attraction that I feel for the works of Azadeh Shladovsky. A few months ago, at the opening of her furniture works at the exquisite Jean De Merry on Melrose Place, I found myself transfixed by these wooden cube sculptures that echoed the floor of the atrium. As we were all chatting, I began to notice the daylight bouncing off the brass details of the Torre stumps, sending geometrical shadows around the room. Ah, space, light, and form!!

Thank you to Sean and Azadeh for inviting me to see this work.

The materials, and any challenges?

Azadeh: This collection is a play on hard and soft, focusing mainly on woods and metals and how they interact. I use everything from oak, walnut, rosewood and maple. Metal finishes are polished nickel and smokey brass, and long-haired Patagonian sheepskin is the signature softgood. Some of the simplest designs tend to be the most challenging to construct, especially when you’re marrying two different materials into a single form; the Torre stumps are a good example, by far one of the most challenging pieces in the collection.

All of the pieces are made locally in Los Angeles by the most integral team of craftsmen. The wood is all sourced in the U.S. and is responsibly forested. The long-haired sheepskin is the only material that is imported.

The most important aspect of your work?

Being true to the creative PROCESS is the most important aspect. I never know where the inspiration will come from, but the key is to allow it to take shape in my mind without restrictions. I never enter the process with the notion of designing a specific piece. It must have a bigger purpose…it has to move me.

Materials you'd like to focus on in the future?

I am a materials junkie of sorts and hope to continue exploring and experimenting with different woods, metals, stone and fabrics. The fun will always come in bringing materials together in unexpected ways.

How did the collaboration with Jean de Merry come about?

For me, deciding to be represented by Christian and Jean was simple, they approach furniture making with the same passion and respect for the process. Creating innovative yet timeless pieces using age-old techniques is something that they are masters at, and I knew my collection would be in great company at their gallery showrooms.

thank you
Azadeh Shladovsky