ft fc, or full tables full chairs, is a furniture design studio and woodshop started in 2014 and run by Jonathan Parris in Oakland, California.
The studio name was inspired by the song 'Empty Chairs at Empty Tables' from the musical Les Misérables. Short of a summary, Marius, a young French revolutionary, has lost his friends and comrades in a battle. The lone survivor, he mournfully notes their absence with the emptiness of the furniture about him. In other words, but put positively: furniture is the medium or vehicle that facilitates our gatherings with friends and family. We sit, talk, eat, share around (or most prepositions for that matter) furniture; and the goal of this studio is to make objects worthy of the community they engender.
We do this by caring about our craft, making our furniture by hand and thoughtfully imagining good designs for a home. The pieces we make are simple and modern, but inspired by studying in Sweden at a school started by master designer/woodworker, Carl Malmsten, we hope that our work carries with it a traditional beauty that makes it appropriate for any home. We call the aesthetic folksy-modern.
At this school, Capellagården, set amongst farmland on an island in the Baltic Sea, there was also a focus on ceramics, textiles and organic gardening. In community with other students pursuing these trades, an appreciation grew for other raw and real materials, and the skills needed to harness them. That is why today so much of our furniture includes other well-made items — we want to support various local makers pursuing their passions, while also highlighting the unique, lasting and differential outcomes of craft produced by individual tradespeople using their hands at work. We hope this care comes through in what we make, and in how it looks and feels under hand with everyday use.