F*SHO will display cle’s hottest furniture designers in midtown warehouse

F*SHO, a trade show that showcases the growing cadre of contemporary furniture designers who call Cleveland home, is set to take place on Friday, Sept. 9th in a Midtown warehouse.

This year’s show, which is the third annual, will be bigger than ever. It features more than 20 designers, including two that are based in Columbus and Toledo.

“The furniture design industry here keeps growing — this year we even had to turn a few people down,” says P.J. Doran of A Piece of Cleveland (APOC), who organized the event along with Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel. “We’d like this event to evolve each year, and hopefully begin attracting more out-of-state designers.”

The show’s organizers hold the event in a new space each year to highlight unique properties. In addition to the building’s raw industrial beauty, the artwork of owner Giancarlo Callicia, a sculptor, will also be on display. Part of the designers’ challenge, Doran says, lies in how to take advantage of the open space.

“This isn’t a typical trade show with velvet ropes and white platforms where the work is displayed,” he quips. “Each designer will personalize their display.”

Doran is particularly excited about the younger designers taking part in the show, many of whom are graduates of the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) who emphasize sustainability. “These pieces are made to last,” he says. “We call them heirloom pieces, which means there are multiple lives to the product.”

He should know: APOC fashions furniture products using ‘upcycled’ lumber from reclaimed from buildings before they are deconstructed or demolished.

Doran expects more industry collaboration and more buzz about Cleveland’s growing furniture design community to come out of this year’s event. “We started the FGroup last year as an offshoot of the furniture show, and people started working together,” he says. “We’re showing there’s strength in numbers.”

As for the customers, Doran loves seeing visitors’ surprised faces the night of the show. “People are always surprised by how much is being made in Cleveland.”

F*SHO takes place on Friday, Sept. 9th from 2 to 11 p.m. at 6550 Carnegie Avenue.

Fresh Water Cleveland, 9/1/11

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