HGR opens its doors for this year’s F*SHO

F SHO Googie Style at HGR Industrial SurplusF SHO 2017 at HGR Industrial Surplus

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Dale Kiefer, freelance journalist)

HGR hosted the ninth-annual F*SHO on Friday, Sept. 15. This free, community-oriented event gives local builders, designers, and artists a chance to show members of the public the products of their furniture-making skills. And maybe sell a few items and inspire some future craftspeople along the way.

More than 2,000 people attended this time around where, in addition to rubbing shoulders with these talented artists, they also got a chance to check out HGR’s inventory. The evening was a celebration fueled not just by the furniture, but also by the free beer from Noble Beast Brewing Co., the free food from SoHo Chicken + Whiskey, and a live DJ.

The organizers, Jason and Amanda Radcliffe of 44 Steel, brought the 2017 F*SHO to HGR, keeping alive their tradition of finding a new location for each show. “It started out as just a couple people showing furniture back in 2009,” Jason says, “and now, look around!” It was difficult to tell what excited Jason the most. He marveled at the age of the still-sturdy wooden beams that held HGR’s roof up just as much as he did the sight of so many people walking through HGR’s industrial setting.

The F*SHO has undergone a sizable expansion, growing from five designers in the first year to thirty-three this year. Jason said that he never thought it should be too formal. He didn’t want it to be your standard booth setup. Instead, it should be something organic that grows naturally from the creative people who make it happen. HGR, with its rugged backdrop featuring its industrial surplus, made for the perfect venue.

“HGR is doing a great job with this space. They brought this building back—revitalized it. This is great for the city,” Jonathan Holody, the director of the Department of Planning and Development for the City of Euclid, says. He was there to mingle with attendees and share Euclid’s storied history. “A lot of the manufacturers in the area rely on HGR. It’s great to see this event attract people from all around the area to Euclid.”

This year’s F*SHO also represented a celebrity reunion of sorts, comprised of those who have earned fame in the world of furniture design. In 2015, Jason competed on the Spike TV show, Framework, which was hosted by hip-hop superstar Common. This reality TV outing pitted 13 designers against each other in a Project Runway-style face-off. Notably, two of the top three finishers in that competition call Northeast Ohio home. Jason finished third, while Akron-based Freddy Hill of Freddy Hill Design took second. There were no hard feelings though, as the first place finisher, Jory Brigham of Jory Brigham Design, traveled all the way from his home in San Luis Obispo, Calif., for the F*SHO. They also were joined by fellow competitors Craig Bayens of C. Bayens Furniture + Functional Design Co. from Louisville, Kentucky, and Toledo-based Lacey Campbell of Lacey Campbell Designs.

This gathering of friends and colleagues made HGR and Euclid the center of the cutting-edge furniture design world for the night of the F*SHO. And the large public turnout helped to ensure that there was plenty of inspiration shared with the next generation of designers who will call this area home.

some furniture from F*SHO 2017 at HGR Industrial Surplus

F*SHO comes to HGR Industrial Surplus; win a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture by a famous designer

F*SHO ad

In two weeks, the F*SHO, a contemporary furniture show and brain child of Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel, will be coming to HGR Industrial Surplus. Join us Sept. 15 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 20001 Euclid Avenue, Euclid, Ohio. Entry is through the back of HGR’s building.

There will be approximately 30 furniture designers showcasing their work while a DJ spins tunes, and food, courtesy of SoHo Chicken + Whiskey, and beer flow freely. Everything’s free, except the furniture!

In 2015, Jason competed in FRAMEWORK, a furniture and design reality-TV show, hosted by hip-hop superstar Common on SPIKE TV. The winner of that show, Jory Brigham, who also teaches furniture building, will be coming from California to premier a new piece at the F*SHO, and Jason will be heading to California to teach a class at Jory’s studio.

In addition, you will have a chance to win a piece of furniture designed by either Jason Radcliffe, 44 Steel, who works with steel, or Aaron Cunningham, 3 Barn Doors, who works with wood. They will select items from HGR’s showroom to use in the furniture design then will be building the two pieces live at Ingenuity Festival on Sept. 22-24. Contest details to be announced shortly. Stay tuned!

Q & A with furniture designer and F*SHO Founder Jason Radcliffe

Cradle cradenza by Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel

What was the first piece of furniture that you created in 2005?

I built quite a few pieces for friends — things like tables and what not, but the awning I built for a friend’s house in Tremont really stands out the most. It was the first time I realized that I could create and make things useful and functional.

What got you interested in furniture?

Functionally, I needed a desk. I like functional art and things that have a use. Also, I visited my the furniture store where my friend worked, and a customer wanted stainless table with a glass top for a party but if they ordered one for her, it wouldn’t have arrived in time. My friend said, “Here’s my friend who makes furniture. He can make it for you in less than six weeks.” Four days later, she had a stainless-steel frame with a glass top which was the start of my business. My friend asked for two pieces in three sizes, and it just took off.

What did you do as a career prior to your business at 44 Steel?

Welding and fabrication, which I still do, and the furniture business is similar in that I change industrial items into shapes that work.

How and why did the F*SHO come into existence in 2009?

In 2008, I had shown my first pieces of furniture in a solo gallery exhibit then I planned to go to New York for Design Week because I wanted to see what people thought of my work but it cost $5,000 for a booth. I decided that wasn’t affordable. In January 2009, the coordinator from ICFF, part of Design Week, emailed me offering 4’ x 10’ booth for $1600, and I took it. I took the Mousedesk that’s on my website there and kept hearing, “You’re from Cleveland? There’s nothing going on in Cleveland.” When I got back form New York, I had a conversation with five of my furniture friends about what New York was saying about Cleveland. We all decided to give New York a big middle finger and put our own show together and so it came to be. I got five friends together, and we did the show at 78th Street Studios. We had 350 people show up. The next year we needed a bigger space. F*SHO is a contemporary furniture show featuring work by local designers, furniture makers and students from the Cleveland Institute of Art.

How many exhibitors and attendees do you usually have?

In 2016, we had 30 exhibitors and 3,000 attendees. Most of the visitors are from Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo.

How are the locations for the moving show selected?

I drive around or someone offers. We are going to continue moving it to different locations until 2019, then we’re handing it off to someone else to pick up the torch.

How do you market the show?

We’ve had articles in Fresh Water Cleveland and The Cleveland Plain Dealer, an interview on Kickin’ It with Kenny and NPR’s Around Noon, word of mouth and social media. People like its style, the romantic feel of only one night and if you’re not there you missed it for the year. It’s a five-hour guerilla show that’s always on a Friday night in September from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. SoHo does the food. We have beer and a coffee bar. Everything is free to the public though we do suggest donations/tips to offset the costs of the food and beer. There’s only a $50 exhibitor fee because we believe in getting us all together, and some new designers don’t have the money.

How and when did you hear about HGR?

I work for my father’s business, Berrington Pumps & Systems, and they are a customer. Then, I made a chair for Ingenuity Festival and a competition called “Chair and Tell.” My dad helped to film the entire process, from walking through HGR buying materials to the fabrication and finishing.

What kinds of things have you bought at HGR?

Mostly stuff for Berrington, not 44 Steel and the furniture business — pumps, parts, filters, storage bins. Then I get to take home scrap and salvage from the business.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working or making furniture?

My wife and I enjoy riding bikes, travel (most recently to Peru), our dog, being outdoors, boating on the lake, and skiing and snowboarding in Colorado.

Which artists inspire you?

Jean Prouvé (French), Pierre Koenig (American) and Viktor Schreckengost (American). Their bodies of work are astounding and groundbreaking, especially Schreckengost!

What was a unique opportunity that you’ve had?

In 2014, two months after Amanda and I were married, I left the business in her hands to go to California to film FRAMEWORK, a furniture-maker reality TV show and competition, on SPIKE that was hosted by Hip Hop Artist Common. It aired in 2015. It’s been an exciting journey.

How did you learn to be a furniture designer and maker?

I’m self taught! I found styles and materials that suited what I liked and then started putting it all together. I was always thinking about how I would want to use a desk or a cabinet or a credenza, and that is where my personal fingerprint comes from. If you look at the furniture designers here in Cleveland, we all use similar materials, but we all have our own look and idea of how those materials fit together.

 

Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel in his welding gear