My Design Process: Nico Yektai


Curved Glass Hall Table Handmade by Nico Yektai

Today I’d like to use my curved glass hall table as an excuse to talk about my design process. This piece began with a simple notion that I wanted to add a three legged console table to my greater body of work. My style revolves around the idea of using asymmetrical composition and my unusual approach craftsmanship to introduce spontaneity to the furniture design process.

If I am building a piece for a client or if I have a lot of detail to work out, I will take the time to make an intricate scale model where I can figure everything out ahead of time. I have built enough furniture to know that with this table, I don’t need to take that step and I can go straight to the final materials.


Scale model for an unbuilt chaise lounge.

I keep an inventory of steamed bent maple curves on hand for just this occasion. I grabbed a few and went to my work bench and began to juxtapose them until I was able to find a start of a meaningful composition. This is the moment when a piece really comes to life. The curve of the stretches inform the shaping of the glass, together the two started to lay out a path forward for the legs which were not yet involved in the composition.

If you look at my greater body of work, you might notice that I tend to like to bring the legs of tables to the outside, and on occasion to bring them up over the horizontal surface of the table. I use that moment as something unexpected. These are the moments that can bring a viewer in for a closer look while calling attention to the fact that this is not an ordinary piece of furniture.


Detail of Desk #2 showing the leg coming above the table surface

The first thing I did to the legs is I cut aggressive scoops and sharp facets into the legs where they transition to the floor plane. I think of this as a device to enliven that transition to the floor, essentially picking the pieces up on tip toes sending the viewers eye up and into the piece. I use the back leg to pinch the glass which helped to stabilize it.


Photo shoot of Curved Glass Hall Table at Sagg Pond

More importantly, it ended in a wooden mountain poking up above the horizontal plane of the glass. I even added another ridge that comes out from it that mimics a curve beneath the glass.


Detail showing Back leg pinching the glass

The idea is I want to bring the viewers hand and then eye to the similarity between the curve over and under the glass. Because once you pick it up, my hope is that you get back into the curves beneath and come around to the piece again.

Thanks for taking the time to explore my design process.



Nico YektaiBy Nico Yektai -
New York based designer/maker Nico Yektai opened the doors to his Hamptons studio in 1995 after completing the MFA program at the School For American Craft at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The rigorous technical training complimented his background in Art History, which he studied, at Hobart College in Geneva NY. Yektai has synthesized this background into a singular style that has gained him national attention. Visit for more information

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