Today is the Day!

Today is the day! My couch is arriving at school at approximately 12:00 this afternoon!! There are no words to describe how excited I am, and how thankful I am for everyone that has helped me throughout this long and exhilarating process. The most exciting part of it all is that no one has seen my couch yet!! I’m keeping it covered for my “big reveal” on exhibition night (this Thursday). Below is a picture of all the guys at my parents shop-I blew this photo up on a large piece of paper and I am going to frame it and hang it up on exhibition night. Additionally, my mom and I printed out 6 other copies for each person at the shop. I am so incredibly proud and thankful- I can’t believe it’s finally time for the show! Stay posted for more updates and pictures of the couch on exhibition night!

Additionally, I published my website last week- it’s still a work in progress, but it is up!


December 22nd – January 3rd

Happy New Year! Over winter break I accomplished a lot, and feel really good about where I am so far. I am going home this weekend to finish one last piece for the couch because I have to finish applying the patina. Additionally I also had a few meetings with the woman helping us upholster the cushions for the couch, and decided that instead of wasting money on a temporary cushion, that we are going to leave it white. I came to this decision because I wanted my couch to be perfect, and I didn’t want to settle for less. Although it won’t make it in time for exhibition night, we are still ordering leather to upholster the cushions at a later date. I have planned a meeting with Edelman Leather to address ordering the leather, and working out a discount. I would ideally love to work with Edelman Leather to make it an exclusively “All Edelman-Brand,” which I believe will add strength and integrity to my brand. Below please find photos of the work I did over break!

20141224_135415 Applying the Patina IMG_0416.JPG IMG_7892.JPG IMG_7906 IMG_8007 IMG_4056

Week of December 15th – 19th

This week we started making my couch!!! I’m am so excited to finally see it! Unfortunately I won’t be able to upholster it in leather for the show because it would be extremely expensive (around $5,000-10,000 extra), so I am just upholstering it in a linen-type fabric and draping a black shearling hide over the couch.

Additionally, I googled thousands of pictures of the texture of metals, (below I attached the pictures), to start getting ahead on graphics/advertising/business cards, etc. Massimo and I are going back and fourth sending each other different ad ideas as well as business card designs. So far, we have established that we want square, thick cards. It’s a bit more expensive, but the idea is to make them so beautiful and important looking that people won’t want to throw them out.

Massimo also sent me his new drafts of the chair, and they are perfect. We are still playing with dimensions a little, but the first thing I said when I saw the draft was “that looks like my chair!!!” My mom’s drafter, Ernie, didn’t seem to grasp my idea/designs, which was completely fine because Massimo was brought into the picture by Andrew. Below please also find a picture of the chair draft.

I am beginning to think about how I want to present myself and my furniture during presentation night-the behind the scenes work that I will display to show people how much work really went into this. Right now one of my ideas is to lay everything out on the long table in the senior building library (my presentation space). I think I am going to put one of the sample leather boxes out so people can touch/feel the overwhelming anxiety of picking a leather for them to sit on! As of right now… I personally haven’t even really looked at it, there’s so many different colors and textures-completely overwhelming. Another thing I want to put out, which is sort of a given, is my process book. I really love my process book and will treasure it forever because it’s enormously thick, and filled with my entire process, (ironic, probably not). The other day I was on the phone with Massimo talking about the need for a company story, while pasting some stuff into the book and I realized this book is my story, all down to the first shipping label with my company name on it. I think the concept of a process book is often overlooked because inside your own head, you feel like you know everything already, however, I found that to be far from the truth when I look back and see how much love and devotion each stage of that book reminds me of. Overall to say the least, it is one of my newest most pride possessions.

A few days I started to ask myself, “Is this really what I want to do in life?” I got nervous and scared because I didn’t feel as involved and knowledgable about my company as I originally thought I did, but that all quickly changed once I saw Massimo’s drawing; it completely brought me back, and I was reminded how much I love furniture design and how excited I am to see where it takes me. I’m not concerned with “getting rich!” the idea is nice, but furniture is my calling. I’m in this because this is what truly makes me happy, and I’m willing to take the biggest risk I’ve ever taken for it. The term “workaholic” is often considered to be negative, however, I finally understand what it feels like; I live and breath for what I do- it’s all I think about all day long. The reward of creating something beautiful that people want to buy and live with, is unfathomable.

Massimo’s Draft:


These are the metal textures that I mentioned previously:  Metal-and-Iron-Background-145-625x468 oil-rubbed-Brubbed-Bronze3 patinairon11


Week of December 8th-12th

Last weekend I had a video chat meeting with Andrew and Massimo and discussed the following topics:

  • Group Analysis of chairs and dimensions
  • -find a common/popularly used set/average of dimensions
  • Break down chair dimensions and talk about technical issues of chair
  • Talk about leather/upholstery options and type of cushions for chair
  • -upholstery source
  • Talk about markup % – what numbers do we feel comfortable with?
  • Talk about chair value $$/whether or not dining room chair value should match living room pricing-or be similar
  • Who is, or will be our competitors
  • Need to register as an LLC
  • Need to hire a graphic designer
  • Need a company story – people like to feel like they know you by loving the character of your brand
  • Want it to include our influences: Teddy and Arthur, Sam and Libby, David and Dana, Other suggestions, etc.

Andrew is going to ask around Parsons looking for a graphic designer to help us get started, as well into looking into registering as an LLC. Massimo is going to work on a new draft of the chairs and adjust the seat dimensions accordingly to a larger seat width. We are all looking into cushion construction materials, and fireproof safety regulation standards.

Our materials (brass) have also arrived!! The second prototypes will now begin!! I am so beyond excited to see my furniture come to life.

Additionally, I also completed my article for the senior projects catalog.

Week of December 1st-5th

This week we ran into some dimensional issues with the couch. The measurements that I attempted to resolve now need to be reworked again because my mom caught a few errors. Also, the seat of the chair is too narrow at 18″.

I’ve been really interested in learning more about the history of furniture, interior design, technical terms, etc. So I purchased a lot of books on amazon:

* Design Drawing by Ching, Francis D. K.
* The Encyclopedia of Furniture: Third Edition by Aronson, Joseph
* Hand Drafting for Interior Design by Wirtz Kingsley, Diana Bennett
* Interior Design Illustrated by Scalise, Christina
* Lighting Design Basics by Karlen, Mark
* Interior Design Materials and Specifications by Godsey, Lisa
* The Visual Dictionary of Interior Architecture and Design by Coates, Michael

Week of November 24th-28th

This week was incredible. The first prototype of the couch was made, and the necessary adjustments to the dimensions and cutouts were made as well. Also, my leather sample boxes came!! There are literally hundreds of swatches, and they’re all so beautiful! I was completely overwhelmed when they arrived. The next step, which needs to be taken as soon as possible is ordering cushions. Andrew mentioned a potential contact for a specialist in leather upholstery, who I will be contacting sometime this week once the dimensions are final. Massimo and I are continuing to go back and forth with drafts of the chair. Below, please find pictures of the process and a link to a video of the keys to the couch being cut.

cushion pic laser cut video of keys leather samples p1  p4 p7 p8

Week of November 17th-21st

This week I was extremely productive. Andrew found us a new drafter, Massimo, and we are evolving quickly, which is extremely exciting. This week I re-drew some of my sketches to make them look cleaner, and also made another collage on better paper. Our old drafter still owed us some drafts, which he sent to me on Monday. The second drafts were actually really good, however, I am really looking forward to what Massimo has to show.

I’ve been in touch with the sales rep at Edelman Leather, and asked her to send me a sample box of all upholstery leathers. We are now looking for a company that specializes in upholstering leather.

Over thanksgiving break we will start production and there will be more pictures to follow!


Couch Render 1 Couch Render 2

Week of November 10th-14th

This week, I gathered materials together to meet with Andrew on Friday, as well as get materials together to bring to my interview at FIT and Parsons. I stayed after school a few nights this week and worked on the sketches of my couch, which came out really well. Click on the link couch drawing to see the sketch.

Last week, my mom and I emailed my sketches to our drafter, George. They arrived and we are now discussing technical details before production begins. The drafts are not what I expected them to be, so we are talking about whether or not we really need a drafter at this moment in time.

We set a date to start making the chairs over Thanksgiving break. I will be working in my parents shop, overviewing the process and making adjustments to the design for technical purposes.

Over thanksgiving break, I am also going to be picking out rocks for my coffee table, and contacting Bob, who works at West hampton Glass, for pricing.

Week of November 3rd-7th

This week I reached out to a family friend, Andrew McPhee, to help me with the business aspect of the company I am creating, J.Edelman Furniture. He is very experienced in the design industry, and is going to help me advance my company after senior projects are over (I’m focusing on the project for now, and the business once the presentations are over). Andrew is a long-term intern for Design Within Reach, where my Uncle the President and CEO, and his father the COO, both work. He goes to Parsons the New School for Design and studies Strategic Design Management, making him the perfect candidate to help me advance my business. He is extremely knowledgable, and we share the same background and exposure to the design industry. We are both very excited to make this next step, and we are meeting November 14th to talk about our ideas.

Additionally, this week my designs were sent out to a drafter so they can be easily translatable to the manufactures. I also filled up my portfolio book with tons of printed out emails, pictures of my leather samples and overall process, and wrote many entries about the elimination of certain pieces from my line, to accentuate the stronger pieces.


October 27-31st

This week my mother came out from CT and worked with me at school all day. We came to the conclusion that the glass couch idea isn’t possible because they don’t make glass that thick (7 inches), which was disappointing, but I decided to make the “glass” couch out of metal. Instead of solid metal, it’s going to be boxlike and welded together, keeping the same structure as the glass one. My mom and I figured out all the dimensions, and specific details such as welds, and what pieces connect to each other. I also ordered leather samples from my grandparents former company, Edelman Leather, and they are so beautiful! They turned out far better than I expected. My favorites are the black shearling, black/grey cow fur, and the suede. Additionally, I also started searching for places where I can get the cushions upholstered, so far I found 2 in the city, and one in California. I emailed all of them asking for an estimate, and next week I am going to go over the options with my mom and see which would be the best fit (no pun intended).Black Shearling Black Cow Fur Coal Ash Royal Suede Grey Cow Fur "tipsy black" leather Black Leather

Week of October 20th-24th

This week, I didn’t get as much done as I expected, but I emailed a glass fabricator to talk to him about my designs regarding the glass couch that I drew last week. I think I need to keep looking in terms of a glass supplier/fabricator because he didn’t have the type/thickness of glass that I wanted. Additionally, I also did a few new sketches of the glass couch, as well as a photoshop construction. rainbow patina glass couch Glass Couch

Week of October 14th-17th

This week was a little stressful. I was slightly overwhelmed with how much work I have to do with my design process. However, despite the mental set back, I began to draw my dining room table (which personally, was the hardest piece to design). I was inspired by the back of my living room chair, which is in the shape of a thick, filled in, letter “Y.” The designs are still very rough, but I’m excited as to where they take me. Additionally, I’m also working on an alternative couch design… feeling a little scattered, but hopefully by next week things will be more sorted out.

Week of October 6th-October 10th

Last weekend, (Oct 4/5), my mom came from Connecticut to help me work on the dimensions of my furniture. To help me visualize what the final product would look like, we made models out of Balsa wood and poster board. This really helped me a lot because at first I thought I wanted the couch to be taller, but the model helped me visualize the proportions. We also recognized significant weight issues with the furniture; it is way too heavy! The couch alone, with no cushions added is about 800 pounds, which creates a big problem. The solution I decided on was to create the structure out of wood, and then cover it with metal. This will reduce a huge amount of weight, making the couch transportable. This week at school, I wrote my self evaluation, and I met with Mr. Mulhern to discuss different alternatives and methods for applying the metal to the wood structure. Additionally, I also looked into different finishes to apply to the metal. All in all, it was a very productive workweek.

dimension work with mom IMG_7264 IMG_7267 IMG_7272 IMG_7276 IMG_7282 IMG_7283 IMG_7286

September 29th-October 3rd

Last weekend, Sept 27-28, I went home to Connecticut, and met with my cousin Halle, who is creating the ceramic dinnerware that I designed. We discussed the process of making the molds for the plates/bowls; so far she has the dinner plate mold completed, and is going to be working on serving bowls and platters soon. We also discussed glazes, the shape and how it is turning out.This week, I worked on writing the manufacturing instructions for each design. I wrote out every tiny detail about each piece of furniture to  make sure that the finished product is exactly what I envisioned, as well as to have a checklist once it’s made to ensure everything is perfect. Additionally, my parents are coming out to East Hampton this weekend (they’re making me the furniture at their metal fabrication shop), and going over designs with me, and sorting out the last dimensions, etc. that needed to be finished. Following this meeting, the furniture will begin to start being produced.More manufacturing notes

Manufacturing notes/instructions

Manufacturing notes/instructions


Here is a picture of my storyboard process

Here is a picture of my storyboard process

This is a doodle/sketch notes that I wrote about my trouble with making it so that people's skin doesn't touch the cold metal.

This is a doodle/sketch notes that I wrote about my trouble with making it so that people’s skin doesn’t touch the cold metal.


September 22-26

This week, I organized myself at my new desk in the Senior Art Room, and created a story board of my collection ideas above my desk to reflect on while I am sketching. Additionally, I drew a new table to go with my living room collection. I also met with my mentor, Brianna, to talk about my ideas/manufacturing process. The last thing I did this week was start to create my business cards.


PDF proof of business cards