Natural product links Jess with Studio Suolle

Launch of Tray collection in September

At Dutch Design Dock in Nieuwegein (01-03 September), Maison & Objet in Paris (06-11 September) and 100% design in London (18-21 September), Jess will be presenting its brand-new Tray collection. Tray is a seating range designed by Tom Dissel and Tymon Scholten of Studio Suolle. Collaboration with the duo has resulted in a stylish, organic design with subtle detailing and surprising options for variation.

Maarten van de Goor, Director at Jess Design: “We came into contact with Studio Suolle through a shared love of leather. This rugged natural material has a timeless character, is hard-wearing and can be used in a variety of ways. We talked to each other about the new collection at the Dutch Design Week in October, and by June the first prototypes were rolling off the assembly line. In September, we will be launching Tray at a number of fairs. It has been fantastic to see the whole process going so smoothly.”

A match with Jess’s DNA

What Tom and Tymon really honed in on was the condition that the new range should match with the DNA of the Jess family. “This shows that, when it comes to achieving a good end result, the click you have with someone is very important. The 3D models produced, with leather as the main focus, hit the mark straight away. The first collection is made up of a series of sofas, stools and a chair, designed for both the retail and project markets in the Netherlands and abroad. Studio Suolle is currently creating new items to add to the range and we expect to be able to present these in early 2020,” commented Maarten.

Leather tanning

Tymon earned his Bachelor of Design degree from the HKU University of the Arts Utrecht. He then went on to take a course in Fine Art and Design in Education at the ArtEZ University of the Arts in Arnhem. Tom graduated from the Design Academy in Eindhoven by designing a chair, using leather he had tanned himself: “Leather is a durable natural product, a residual material that is often handled in an unnatural way. I wanted to tan the leather I used myself so that it would retain all its scars and imperfections, thereby giving the piece of furniture involved its own unique character. Jess also focuses on leather in its purest form, so this was something we found we had in common.”


Anyone entering the production area at Jess will see hides draped over racks. “This layering is also something you see in the famous Chinese rice terraces, known as the ‘Stairways to Heaven’. These step-like plateaus provided the inspiration for the subtle detailing at the bottom of the pieces in the Tray collection,” explains Tymon. “We always take the material as our basis, and then go on to develop the concept, and from there we design the collection as a whole. The Tray collection features curves that are a good match for the Jess family, with layering at the bottom of the pieces as a detail. The range consists of a modular system with various corner elements, making it possible for you to create a corner sofa, two-seater or three-seater yourself. The sofa’s backrest can also be raised, making it of interest for catering applications.”

About Studio Suolle 

Suolle was the name used for the capital of the Dutch province of Overijssel when it was founded in 760. It is a Germanic word meaning ‘hill’, an elevation rising so far above the marshland that it enabled its inhabitants to keep their feet dry. Tom Dissel and Tymon Scholten see this hill as an excellent metaphor for the stage that they provide for their designer products and interior design services. Studio Suolle, ‘stage of design, interior and branding’.