Author Archives: Karen

About Karen

Karen Kuo is a long-time design professional having grown up seeing her father Robert Kuo's beautiful pieces and creating various pieces of her own. Karen runs the Robert Kuo showroom in the West Hollywood Design District and serves on the Board of Directors for multiple West Hollywood organizations including the West Hollywood Design District, Visit West Hollywood and West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Karen resides in Los Angeles with her husband Albert and her two sons, Christopher and Jonathan.

The Creation of Robert Kuo’s Jie Rectangular Dining Table at DIEM 2013

My father, Robert Kuo, recently created a Jie Rectangular Dining Table for DIEM 2013 (Design Intersects Everything Made). DIEM is a design symposium put on annually by the West Hollywood Design District and this year it's hosted by Caesarstone. Four designers in the district were given the opportunity to create furniture pieces out of Caesarstone quartz to show the versatility and durability of the product. My head is still spinning imagining all of the ways to use the material.

His rectangular dining table was inspired by Jie, meaning ‘knots’ in Chinese. Jie symbolizes harmony and unification in Chinese culture. The table’s top is made of Caesarstone Espresso. The base of the dining table is made of hand repousse copper with an antique copper finish, making this furniture item truly unique. The hand-hammered, copper base is finished with the antiqued copper, giving the table base a patina that softens the feeling of the metal and allows the various nuisances of the natural material to come through.

Robert Kuo Dining Table

Repousse is the traditional art of hand-hammering decorative reliefs onto sheet metal. The form and design is achieved by working on both sides of the sheet metal. Chase work is often used in combination with repousse for accentuating and refining the design. This process of hand-chasing metal begins with mallet blows at the center of the sheet metal, continuing out to the edges, never striking the same spot twice. Hand-chasing shapes and forms metal without fundamentally altering its nature. The process hardens the metal, making it less plastic. The metal is then heated and worked until properly formed.

Making Table

The overall design of the dining table embodies form, function and simplicity. All of the pieces are available in Wall Street Gallery on Robertson Blvd. in the West Hollywood Design District through November 8, 2013. Keep an eye out for the pieces as they pop-up across the country in the coming months.