The Agony of the Bar Stool

The saga of how our bar stools came to be is perhaps the perfect example of PizzaMoto’s particular cocktail of stubbornness and can-do spirit. Mostly Dave Sclarow is the patient zero of this special illness and while we intentionally built a family of people to whom it speaks, it is also mighty catching. These were our conditions: We have a slightly tall bar (that we built from soap stone we dumpster dove from the gracious, generous, and skilled M. Teixeira Soapstones in New Jersey…see post #2) so we have some weird dimension needs. We have a tight budget and expensive tastes. We don’t want to rely on the beautiful work horses that we see in many restaurants in Brooklyn. Our room is starting to be defined by steel, brick, stone and other masculine, hard, cold materials – so we want something that talks to those things, but warms up the joint a little bit. We only need 6 or 7 stools so they can be special, featured pieces but everything that fits the aesthetic bill is way out of our price range. We discuss, gavel decisions, open discussions back up again, register with 1stdibs online to buy a set of 7 knock off Charlotte Perriand stools we love and right as I’m about to hit “confirm purchase” we say Wait! let’s talk about it some more. Can we afford it? Should we build them? How? And if so, what would we build?

We start talking about what it would take to make something of our own that has the flavor of the Charlotte Perriand stools we love – leather, rivets, bent chrome pipe. Some research: we would need a pipe bender, some chrome plated steel pipe, a pattern from Dave’s girlfriend Robyn (fashion designer!), some leather hides, some rivets, a really sharp razor, a rotary leather punch, some rapid rivets. But do we have the time? The patience? Don’t we have enough to do?

Not 48 hours later Dave calls with some great news – driving around Red Hook he’s found that a school has put all of their desks out on the street and they’re made of none other than chrome plated pipe. This whole endeavor can be yet another scavenged, essentially free project (if you don’t count our precious, precious time, blood, sweat, tears, etc. which, in our admittedly flawed economy, we can’t/don’t). Dave collects the desks and begins grinding, cutting, welding.

 

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Dave and Robyn take a trip to Jamaica, Queens where they find two luscious brown leather cowhides at a wholesale leather warehouse.

 

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The chairs go through three different iterations before he lands on a design he likes, that’s comfortable, and stable.

 

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I think his results are stunning and these stools are maybe the thing I’m proudest of in this whole place – a true expression of Davey’s crazy stubbornness, creative capacity, and weird cousin of patience that forces us to wait for the best version of the thing to present itself as possible.  At the very least these stools are a stylish and comfortable way to enjoy a drink that does exactly what we wanted/needed in the room – at the most they are a beacon of our belief that there’s a different way to interact with our things.  While it is may be reasonable and normative to look for someone who can make and sell you the thing you desire or need, we’d like you to know you can also find the materials and the skills to make it yourself in your world.  If you want to.  It can feel really good.

 

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