“When Lou Reed said he had to have it, we knew we were on the map,” says Jim Zivic, now known for his work in steel, coal and leather, describing his first success as a functional designer—a metal piano base born from a SoHo street find.

His main studio upstate is a former chicken coop, approximately 4,000 square feet divided for work in his different materials: a leather room, metal rooms, a coal polishing room used in winter, and a welding shop where work is done in the summer.  Zivic works with a wire factory that makes the frames for chair designs that have long been a part of his repertoire. Of his portfolio, one of the most iconic designs is a leather hammock, which originated as a commission from Studio Sofield, inspired by the sling seat construction of Zivic’s leather barstools. “It’s for indoor use, and I think that’s been part of its success. I’m working on one now to be used outdoors and I’m curious how it will be received, since there’s nothing novel about an outdoor hammock!”

 Over the years, Zivic says, “my approach to coal has changed like an artist’s—my new pieces for this year are much more geometric after my earlier interest in live edges and then refined smoothness. I still get excited about the material and I know there’s more I can do with it to manipulate it. I make something because I love it.”

Text condensed courtesy of Zoe Settle for Interiors Magazine

Photography by Antoine Bootz