A Mid-Century Modern look comprised of new and vintage objects set in the historic East End neighborhood of Portland, Maine
Our Beckett Street Collection was inspired by one of our favorite products, the Engineer’s Chair. This unique and timeless piece of furniture embodies much of what is at the core of Venn + Maker, a love of the found and the handmade. We find, repurpose, and reuse vintage objects in addition to selling new products handmade by makers and designers. The story of the Engineer’s Chair brings together these two main elements of our mission.
This story begins with two vintage chairs found at Pillars Antiques in Freeport, Maine. Venn + Maker’s founder, Michael Fortier, is a frequent visitor to this store, and many other antique and second-hand shops around Maine. On one particular visit to Pillars, around the time Venn + Maker was coming to life, Michael overheard a conversation that got him thinking.
A mother and daughter were discussing a set of chairs, the chairs. They thought they would be the perfect fit in their new beach cottage, but since the Mother had thrown out almost identical chairs when cleaning out her parents’ house, it seemed senseless to buy them. This got Michael thinking about how time can transform a discarded object to something of value. Michael immediately knew the chairs were something special and purchased them on the spot.
The Venn + Maker team soon fell in love with the chairs, just as Michael had. The clean lines of their Mid-Century Modern design are sleek and minimalistic. This style is classic, timeless, and so comfortable. Their curved arms are the ideal shape, and their angled back is positioned at the perfect slant for lounging. After trying them out, we knew this design had to be part of Venn + Maker’s brand.
After searching throughout Maine, we consulted with Tim Hill of Tim Hill Fine Woodworking in Gorham, ME, who agreed to take on the task of recreating these vintage chairs. In order to accurately do this, the woodworker had to deconstruct one of the originals to learn how it was built. It was this process that inspired us to name the final result, the Engineer’s Chair.
To match the new chairs, we had a selection of high-quality vinyl and fabric cushions made by Pistol Pete’s Upholstery, another local Maine maker. They are available in cream or brown vinyl, and red or yellow patterned fabric (see photo). Custom cushions are available, please contact us with inquiries.
The Beckett Street Collection came to life in Michael’s apartment in the historic East End neighborhood right around the corner from Venn + Maker. We handpicked a selection of our favorite found and handmade products to create a Mid-Century Modern scene. The Engineer’s Chair is styled with our vintage French linen pillows and a handwoven thrown by Village Weaver in Bristol, ME. Vintage glass vases, brass candlestick holders, tool boxes, and a Mark Little original decorate this cozy bedroom scene.