November 22, 2010

The Parsons table…

Over the years I have seen my share of the Parsons table made with every material under the sun. And I have also seen the words "Parsons table" used very loosely in describing this modernist table many a time. As luck would have it, I discovered this super-duper, slightly used one in its original packaging (gasp!) at the Rose Bowl flea market recently. Not sure what year it was made, and couldn't identify its origins, nevertheless I was pretty intrigued. I've never seen one quite like it before – plastic molded and in bright orange, reminds me of Legos actually. The key to a Parsons table is it's proportion – with legs as thick as its top, always. The concept came to life in the 1930s during a drafting exercise in a class taught by interior designer Jean-Michel Frank at the Parsons School of Design in Paris. According to the New York Times / Parson's archives, quote, Frank challenged students to design a table so basic that it would retain its integrity whether sheathed in gold leaf, mica, parchment, split straw or painted burlap, or even left robustly unvarnished, unquote. It's rather difficult to find an original Parsons table these days, but they are out there! Are you a fan?

[ right: click here for a DIY woodworking project on "How to Build a Parsons Table" ]

{ images: top, camera phone image by Peggy Wong / 2 / 3 / 4 – 5 / 6 }

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One Response to “The Parsons table…”

  1. Jen Dean Says:
    November 22nd, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    I am a fan.  I love the simplicity.  However, I also like a good ol' farm table with modern pieces.