Coil + Drift, located in Brooklyn, New York, was founded by John Sorensen-Jolink in 2012. The contemporary furniture company grew out of John’s desire to further his exploration of objects in space. American Link talked to John about his work and his desire to use American materials.
What inspired you to create Coil + Drift?
“My background is in dance and choreography; and I was curious about finding a creative expression that was less ethereal. I have always been fascinated by the notion of home, and how furniture affects the way we live in a space, so I began experimenting with my own designs while apprenticing with a furniture-maker and learning the craft.”
What makes your collection unique?
“I design furniture from a choreographer's perspective. I try to create furniture that feels as though it is active in some way; that it gives off an energy or movement. I am drawn to clean and clear lines, and a minimal aesthetic; but also love highlighting the character of natural materials, and the way these materials relate to each other (i.e. white marble with polished brass; plaster with walnut and leather).”
Each piece, whether a chair, lamp, desk, or book display is as beautiful to look at as it is useful. A lamp bought from Coil + Drift will be admired each time it is turned on – a quality, handcrafted piece of functional art.
John believes that “furniture and objects invigorate a space and should be well-used and loved every day. We strive to find refreshing and energizing ways to combine age-old craftsmanship with modern form.”
Where do you find your materials?
“When we use reclaimed wood, we source it from within New York City, often using older building joists and sometimes even scaffolding. For these pieces, like the Hover Shelving Unit and the Desk Six, we want to wood to tell a story. We want for you to see where it has been and that it is being reinvented into something new. For the new wood, we have a source in New Jersey that is FSC certified; which means that it was sustainably harvested. We also never use exotic woods that are grown outside the U.S.”
John is fascinated with the unique identities and histories of the materials he uses in his commitment to lessen environmental waste. His creations are a blend of brass, iron, steel, leather, reclaimed wood, or FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood.
What are your thoughts on American-made?
“It is very important to me that I support the community I live in. I was just in Indonesia and met designers who are working with local craftspeople and materials, and selling locally. I was so inspired because their work had such a sense of place. I realized that this is what is most important to me. I want you to see my local environment in my furniture and I think that is clear in my work.”
Any Advice for future business owners?
“Make sure you have at least a basic knowledge of what it takes to fabricate your product. The closer you can be to your process the more of yourself will come through in your work. At the same time, know when to delegate. We all only have two hands and can get a lot more done with a strong team than we can alone.”
Visit www.coilanddrift.com to see John’s current collection available for purchase.
Credits // Author: Wendi Wendt Photos Provided By: Coil + Drift