Zelouf & Bell
Established in 1992, Zelouf & Bell is a partnership between designer Susan Zelouf and designer/maker Michael Bell. The alliance of Belfast-born Michael Bell and New Yorker Susan Zelouf may seem a collision of cultures and characters; instead, a kind of alchemy occurs, engendering extraordinary pieces grounded in practicality, a dialogue between art, history and design.
Zelouf & Bell
A Convergence of Two Oceans
Studio furniture makers Zelouf & Bell and their team of master craftsmen have been making museum-quality furniture in their workshop in rural Ireland since 1992. Their award-winning work is in private collections, public offices, embassy residences, churches and museums, at home and abroad.
A convergence of two oceans, the alliance of Belfast-born Michael Bell and New Yorker Susan Zelouf may seem a collision of cultures and characters; instead, a kind of alchemy occurs, engendering extraordinary pieces grounded in practicality, a dialogue between art, history and design.
“We don’t fit in, but for us, that’s a strategy.” Theirs is an intensely personal new modernism, a distillation of what delights and moves them, informed by that which came before.
“When two bodies of water meet there is tension, a difference in salinity, temperature, density, currents, colour, sediment… eventually, they mix. It's like that with Michael and I. He's from Northern Ireland, from a science, maths and engineering background. I’m from New York, from a theatre arts, music and writing background. Both of us believe a thing well made is a thing worth making.”
Gallerist Benoist Drut of Maison Gerard describes Zelouf & Bell’s pieces as “precious, clever, refined, fearless, unexpected, poetic.”
Curator Dr. Jennifer Goff of the National Museum of Ireland refers to their work as “true modern classics”.
Zelouf & Bell’s approach embraces the handmade, merging materiality with technique. Lyrical in form and rigorous in function, literate in design language and innovative in the use of low-tech engineering solutions, Zelouf & Bell’s oeuvre marries artistry with artisanship.
Zelouf & Bell’s extensive portfolio of award-winning architectural furniture spans residential and commercial projects, garnering worldwide recognition, with prestigious commissions including twelve Embassy residences abroad, from Berlin to Beijing, The Hague to the Holy See, Ottawa to Tokyo. With no house style, just high standards, each piece or complete interior is a thoughtfully designed and exquisitely made response to a specific client brief, often in collaboration with an architect and interior designer.
Zelouf & Bell are represented in New York by Maison Gerard; selected pieces may be seen in the colourful Parisian showrooms of David Hicks France. The National Museum of Ireland acquired three Zelouf & Bell pieces for the museum’s permanent collection.
WE DON'T FIT IN, BUT FOR US, THAT'S A STRATEGY.
Recent projects include the redesign of Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud (Ireland's only two-star Michelin), conference furniture for the listed building housing the Department of Enterprise and Employment, Kildare Street, Dublin and selected pieces for several London townhouses.
Awards & Press
JURIED INTO DESIGN AND CRAFTS COUNCIL OF IRELAND’S PORTFOLIO:
Critical Selection since 2015
FURNITURE DESIGNER OF THE YEAR BY IMAGE MAGAZINE:
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST DESIGN SHOW AWARDS:
Best Decorative Accessory by IFDA (International Furnishing and Design Association)
Best Overall Craftsmanship by Adorno Magazine
RECENT ARTICLES ABOUT THEIR WORK APPEARED IN:
Financial Times ‘How to Spend It'
The Sunday Times Magazine
The Irish Arts Review