IIDEX Woodshop Designer Spotlight | Brothers Dressler

This is the 7th in a series of 10 posts where we will be placing the spotlight on the amazing talent signed up for the IIDEX Woodshop initiative. This week: the Brothers Dressler!

The Brothers Dressler are material-based designers specializing in crafting custom furnishings, lighting, objects and special products using sustainable processes such as using reclaimed, ecologically friendly and responsibly harvested materials.

The Brothers shared some of their thoughts with us regarding the IIDEX Woodshop competition, their fondness for ash wood and engaging their sons in the building blocks of design.

ideacious: IIDEX Woodshop has a strong narrative going for it — a city and IIDEX supported initiative to use a portion of the 200,000+ ash trees the Emerald Ash Borer will bring down over the next 5 years. How do you plan to embrace this narrative through the work you submit?

Brothers Dressler: This is something that we have been embracing for some time with our Ash Out of Quarantine project. It’s a continuation of that exploration of using this abundant and untapped local resource as well as bringing awareness to the plight of the Ash trees. The City of Toronto is showing initiative in pursuing this opportunity and there is great potential to change the way people think about where the objects they buy come from and what they’re made of. This narrative will be carried on through these newly designed pieces and throughout our catalogue.  

From an aesthetic perspective, many designers opt to work with rich woods like Walnut or Maple. What are your thoughts on using Ash as your primary material? Is it a challenge, does it change your process, or do you simply disagree and think Ash is amazing?

All woods have their own unique feel and beauty and ash is no different. It is a strong and malleable wood with its own unique richness and other special properties. It can be manipulated in so many ways and we’ve been using it in many of our pieces. One of the unique characteristics of ash, particularly those trees that endure growing within the city, is the unique grain pattern. Ash also has great bending properties, which allow us to utilize steam and bent lamination for our designs.

And finally, what’s something that you’re really into right now?

Besides using ash we have both been really into playing with Lego with our sons. It was a huge inspiration for us growing up and we find ourselves continuously amazed at the enthusiasm and creativity it inspires. Watching our boys manipulating the bricks, dismantling a creation and inventing something different is a potent reminder of how playful we should be with design.

Stay tuned for our next IIDEX Woodshop Designer Spotlight: Heidi Earnshaw Design!

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