More Concrete Than Flour

Is this not cosmic destiny?! My great uncle Nathan George Horwit, known for his Movado Museum watch design of the one dot and no numbers, once boasted to some friends that he had never gotten into the New York Times with his numerous editorials on Israel, but that I got in with a cake.In today's New York Times, I was delighted to discover that my cousin Joshua Howe got in with something more concrete and the lead actually compares concrete to flour in baking. It's all in the family! New Twist on a Dense Subject By TIM McKEOUGH Published: July 11, 2012 Concrete is to architecture what flour is to baking: an important but homely ingredient. Yes, the material can be stylish in kitchens and bathrooms, and it's the stuff of many an art gallery floor. But dense, gray and prone to cracking, it seldom appears in fine lighting and furniture. Joshua Howe, 36, a designer in Chatham, N.Y., who has worked with concrete for five years, sees beyond its limitations. Originally attracted to the material's rugged looks, he became impressed with its versatility. "It can be rough and industrial," he noted, or "light, silky and elegant." His pieces include Alar, left, a double-stem floor lamp with a hefty concrete base and slender arms made from steel tubing. The arms seem to bow under the weight of their bulbs, which are sheathed in frosted acrylic wings. Alar ($5,200) and a number of Mr. Howe's other concrete-and-steel creations are at Culture+Commerce Project, 428 Warren Street, Hudson, NY. Information: (518) 653-4532, joshuahowedesign.com.