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Creative designs in Western furniture

Designed and manufactured in the West. Bought and used in homes and offices in the West. Judged in the West for originality, craftsmanship, and excellence and practically of design. This describes the second annual Pacifica awards competition, which had entries this spring from designers and manufacturers in 13 Western states.

As expected, they reflected a breezy, innovative, Western approach to furnishings and were almost completely contemporary in feeling and aspect. Some of the more avant-garde lighting pieces look as they might be destined for outer space. But it is a more graceful sculptural quality that defines most of the furniture entries.

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The winner in the furniture division is for, for instance, an oakwood dinner table with walnut inset, designed by Mark Daley for Woodsong. The jury called it "graceful, bold, and sculptural in quality, and fine in craftsmanship."

An airy, garden look as effected in the trelliswork design of the rattan furniture entered by Brown Jordan.

Several sleekly elongated metal chaises remind us of the Western tradition for poolside, patio, and deck terrace living.

Modular stack chairs that look like objects of art and modular upholstered units that combine in endless ways were cited as inventive answers to today's space problems.

There is a distinctive look of hand craftsmanship in many of this year's entries. The stained-glass shower cabinet panels and decorative medallions, as an example, indicate the growing appreciation of decortors for the product of modern glass artisans.

The most outstanding fabrics entered in the competition are hand painte, hand stenciled, hand printed, or appliqued by hand sewing. They indicate a new place in the California sun for hand decorated textiles of all kinds.

In the contract furniture division, designer Neil Mitchell Cowan's desk of natural oak with elm burl top was selected for its "dramatic use of round tubular wood form."

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The most fanciful decorative form that too a prize is a "sea sculpture" that consists of a globelike aquarium fitted into a tall, shiny metal column. The designer was John Deason.

The Pacifica awards competition is sponsored by the southern California chapter of the Resources Council Inc., a ntional association of more than 400 members of the home furnishings industry. Since West Coast companies generate about one-fifth of America's $50 billion annual sales volume in home and commercial furnishings, the Pacifica contest is geared to bring out the best of the West.


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