cTeno builds contemporary, custom-made furniture inspired by Scandinavian, Japanese and midcentury design. Strong major lines and geometric shapes characterize the pieces we make, as well as balance, proportion and attention to scale. Our approach reflects the understatement and love of simplicity shared by Japanese and midcentury form.
We think furniture should be handsome to look at while also being comfortable and versatile. A coffee table should become a bench when you need one, for example. And it should fit in wherever you choose to put it.
The designs may look light, but they're strong. Made from solid hardwood, they're meant to be used. We want them to go along with you, whatever direction you decide to take.
The colors seen in many of the pieces are all the native colors of the wood in their natural form. No tints, stains or dyes are used to produce what you see. Each piece receives several coats of tung oil, a non-petroleum-based, food-safe finish, and is hand-rubbed, allowing the beauty of the wood's own color and grain pattern to emerge. As it’s touched and handled the wood takes on the natural patina that comes from everyday living, and its appearance improves. It becomes an active part of the household. It measures the wear and tear of life as it happens and holds a record to be seen and felt on its surfaces.
It becomes imperfect. And we love it more.
cTeno: the "c" is silent
The word comes from Greek and means "comb". The first comb was, of course, the five fingers of the hand.
The comb and the hand are both motifs that appear in crafts made by people in cultures all over the world.
As one example, in this carpet from central Asia it appears distinctly as a comb, and as a hand.
Elsewhere in the same carpet the motif shows up in a modified and abstracted form.
Craig Farrar Gilbert is the owner of cTeno design, and the principle maker. He came to furniture from a background in building. As you have probably figured out, he loves furniture in all its stages of development, from tree to shaped form. He'd be happy to talk to you about your furniture dreams.