caleb engstrom drapes resin-coated wool over furniture to explore textile in 'wettest' form

caleb engstrom drapes resin-coated wool over furniture to explore textile in 'wettest' form

rest energy by caleb engstrom: on material tension + contrast 

 

Rest Energy is a Los Angeles-based furniture design practice founded by Caleb Engstrom, who, for the past 13 years, has collaborated with creative giants like Frida EscobedoAesop, and artists like Joan Jonas, Yoko Ono, and Henry Taylor. A creative departure from Engstrom’s original practice, Rest Fabrication, Rest Energy’s name reflects the designer’s fascination with contrast and tension, where unexpected combinations work together to create something new. His work is characterized by a process-driven exploration of materials and experimentation, often touching on themes of identity and material narrative. Wet Wool, the inaugural seating and table collection of Rest Energy, combines the skills that Caleb Engstrom has acquired over the years in fabrication with his studio’s freedom to make something technically advanced, nuanced, and wholly his own.

caleb engstrom drapes resin-coated wool over furniture to explore textile in 'wettest' form
Wet Wool Chair (2023) | blackened steel, wax, resin, wool (green), 68.5 x 79 x 87 cm | all images © Rest Energy

 

 

introducing the inaugural wet wool furniture collection 

 

While fabrication is about eliminating risk, Rest Energy thrives in the potential to fail. It is a product made from messes, spontaneity, and surprise that come from the flexibility of creating something out of curiosity. Rather than meeting expectations, Rest Energy is about breaking the rules and evokes a sense of humility and honesty in every hand-made piece,’ writes the designer.

 

Comprising a handcrafted chair, stool, console, and side table, the Wet Wool furniture collection stems from the same linguistic contradiction that inspired Rest Energy’s name. More specifically, Caleb Engstrom’s fascinating series explores the tension of a warm textured material in its heaviest, wettest form; often revered for its softness and comfort, the durable, self-healing material toughens the more it’s pulled and still produces warmth and insulation even when wet. According to Engstrom, wetness does not dampen wool’s capabilities; it makes it stronger — an analogy the studio sees for optimism and resilience in the wake of heaviness and hardship.

caleb engstrom drapes resin-coated wool over furniture to explore textile in 'wettest' form
Wet Wool Chair (2023) | blackened steel, wax, resin, wool (green), 68.5 x 79 x 87 cm

 

 

caleb engstrom pushes the boundaries of wool 

 

The design process for Wet Wool took a literal interpretation of the clashing phrase by draping wool over a steel armature or solid maple, then coating it in resin for a wet appearance. The resulting designs embrace contradiction as the work is both wet but perfectly dry — slightly off but elegantly so. Made by hand in Rest Energy’s Irwindale, California studio, the furniture ‘pushes the boundaries of wool beyond its physical purpose and delves into its conceptual warmth, which artist Joseph Beuys described as the beginning of an evolution‘. The entire Wet Wool furniture collection  by Caleb Engstrom will be exhibited on June 24, 2023, at the Slow Ode Gallery in South Pasadena, California. 

caleb engstrom drapes resin-coated wool over furniture to explore textile in 'wettest' form
Wet Wool Chair (2023) | blackened steel, wax, resin, wool (yellow) | 68.5 x 79 x 87 cm

caleb engstrom drapes resin-coated wool over furniture to explore textile in 'wettest' form
Wet Wool Stools (2023) | blackened steel, wax, resin, wool (yellow, gray, green), 61 x 56 x 45.75 cm

caleb engstrom drapes resin-coated wool over furniture to explore textile in 'wettest' form
Wet Wool Side Table (2023) | lacquer top and base, resin, wool (yellow), 38 x 48 x 50.5 cm

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Wet Wool Side Table (2023) | lacquer top and base, resin, wool (green), 38 x 48 x 50.5 cm

caleb engstrom drapes resin-coated wool over furniture to explore textile in 'wettest' form
Wet Wool Console Table (2023) | maple, lacquer base, resin, wool (yellow), 122 x 38 x 85 cm

wet-wool-furniture-collection-designboom-full-2

exhibition at Slow Ode Gallery opening on June 24, 2023

caleb engstrom drapes resin-coated wool over furniture to explore textile in 'wettest' form

caleb engstrom drapes resin-coated wool over furniture to explore textile in 'wettest' form
displaying the chair, stools, and side tables

caleb engstrom drapes resin-coated wool over furniture to explore textile in 'wettest' form
Wet Wool base options / Stackable Side Table (2023) | Rubber, Lacquer, Resin, 35.5 x 35.5 x 7 cm

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design fabricator Caleb Engstrom

 

 

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Wet Wool Chair (2023) in green color
Wet Wool Chair (2023) in green color
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Wet Wool Chair (2023) in gray color
Wet Wool Chair (2023) in gray color
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Wet Wool Console Table (2023) in yellow color
Wet Wool Console Table (2023) in yellow color
Wet Wool Stackable Side Table (2023)
Wet Wool Stackable Side Table (2023)
lifestyle shot
lifestyle shot
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Wet Wool Side Table (2023) in yellow color
Wet Wool Side Table (2023) in yellow color
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exhibition at Slow Ode - installation view
exhibition at Slow Ode - installation view
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the collection
the collection

project info:

 

name: Wet Wool 

design: Rest Energy @rrestenergyy

fabricator: Caleb Engstrom

exhibited at: Slow Ode, Pasadena, California, US 

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