Newspaper Chairs from Poesis

Husband-and-wife designers Rob Bristow and Pilar Proffitt make ample furniture: serious hunks of marble and generously cut slabs of maple, walnut, and white oak. So when they told me they were busy in their Norfolk, Connecticut, studio working on a sustainable chair made of recycled newspaper material, I couldn’t quite picture it.

The mystery material-a compressed mixture of water, wax, and newspaper pulp-turns out to have the look and feel of fine-grain suede, making it a perfect match for the richness of their other materials.

It’s also substantial: the first prototype of the Pulp armchair, a light gray cube topped with white oak, weighed 300 pounds. By hollowing out the form, they arrived at a design that’s durable yet portable. The wax helps the material resist stains, and if an errant
mark does appear, you can erase it with sandpaper, which won’t affect the velvety texture.

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