Christopher Ohms, the founder of Wine Barrel Concepts, believes in integrity and quality. Drawing from his sense of curiosity, creativity, and detail, he started Wine Barrel Concepts with the aspiration of giving rise to something lasting. After interviewing Christopher about his Knabe Piano Table currently on sale at ToMo, here is what the innovator himself had to say..
What was the first moment you realized you wanted to become a designer?
I wanted to become a designer since I was in elementary school. I have enjoyed stretching my imagination and creating different things from seemingly unrelated items. As a kid, I would make rockets, tools, and different gadgets. I would take apart computers and small machines to see if I could reinvent something.
What inspired the design of the Reclaimed Knabe Piano Table? And beyond that, what inspires you as a designer daily?
Initially, I acquired the upright piano to test my skills refinishing and to see if I could rebuild it. It was in the backyard over a few winters so the wood and keys were badly damaged. I took the piano apart and the beauty of the frame inspired the idea of the table. About the same time, a friend brought me some large pieces of glass from a building demolition.
Design starts with nature. There is an intrinsic beauty in natural things. The scroll of a shell on the beach, the vascularity of an oak leaf, texture in rocks, and reflectance of light in snow. When art and design can lead to something of function I have achieved something of meaning to me.
What were the steps taken in bringing the object from concept to product? Is there a general process you undergo during the design process?
Generally, I sketch out the basic design and then discuss it with other creative-minded people. I am often working on a few different projects at the same time. So, I often draw parallel thoughts to see if I can bridge boundaries in thinking. I would like to design something epic by the end of this year. It may be a functional sculpture or a wooden Viking ship…who knows.
Were there any challenges along the way? If so, how did you overcome them?
Time is my biggest challenge. I am managing a number of items in any given day but design and creativity require a freedom of thought. So, I try to carve out some open time to allow my creative side to flourish.
What would you say you’re most proud of to date?
From a design perspective, I am most proud of the pieces I make from reclaimed wine barrels. It seems bland, but I am surprised at the different modes of creativity and how these have blossomed from one common object.
What advice do you have for up-and-coming designers that are looking to make their mark in the consumer design industry.
Connect with people in various industries. You never know what new ideas and connections can be availed by these unions. Communicate and share ideas to expand your designs. And align yourself in a manner that is mindful and open.
This reclaimed Knabe Piano is a show-stealer with superior detailing and a musical silhouette. This stunning coffee table has a tempered glass top, a cast-iron frame and a wooden peg board. Though it’s a functional furniture piece, it’s retained the magnificence and grandeur of a traditional piano—it even has attached (though loosened) piano strings and reclaimed legs.
A few more masterpieces curated from reclaimed wood by Chris Ohms..