Furniture: Design and Craft BA (Hons)
Designed with subtlety and sustainability in mind, the stitch-wood collection is an exploration into the concept of glue-less junctions. Within this theme I wanted to express a warm harmony between the natural aesthetic of woodcraft with the decorative techniques of textiles. By combining the two, I have been able to expose textile’s potential to solid works which in effect, has enabled this process to be sustainable and aesthetically appealing.
The concept of Stitch-Wood was originally founded through my inquisition into producing furniture and products without the use of glue. Such places as the Pitt Rivers museum influenced many processes that could involve the use of rope, wire, knots, tensile textiles, cane and rattan. This discovery fed my ambition to focus on creating something innovative and attempt to invent a new approach to constructing furniture. I felt that by combining my existing skills in conventional furniture craft to techniques that are commonly associated with textiles, I could begin to bring fresh and exciting brand to a market. With the research, the aim of the Cabinet was to create a piece of furniture that was functional and practical as well as aesthetically pleasing. From experimenting into stitching wooden pieces together, I came up with the method of stitching two components into a right angle which could then be used to create solid container. Textile fastenings made a great addition to the design as this would tell the story in each piece into how Stitch-wood came up (which is why the button is used as the logo). By implementing buttons and toggles it would give each piece their own individual identity yet still hold that relation of charm and character. The cabinet itself is made from Ash and Elm finished with lemongrass oil, then tied and woven with natural Hemp twine. The carcass of the cabinet is joined together with cross stitch, with a dowel driven through the inside to tension the join- this makes the cabinet extremely rigid and strong. The two sliding doors run on the carcass and are held together purely from the hand woven twine. As textiles supported my concept, I wanted to add subtle elements of that through the use of the toggle, which fastens the doors together. The Button Stool is just one of many examples in which the Stitch-Wood technique can be used. Sticking to the idea of textile fastenings and glue- less junctions, the large button embodies a strong thesis of the concept whilst being able to form a practical and functional seat. Like the cabinet the legs and seat were designed simply to be easily mass produced and put together. Both the Elm seat and Ash legs were originally formed on a wood-turning lathe; however these components can be easily CNC formed. To reinforce the legs I used 5mm natural Hemp Twine and criss-crossed the twine around the legs to bind them together. This method forms a strong structure that with stands a person’s weight.
Designed and situated for Animal clothing brand’s HQ, the overall design for the chair was inspired through a number of key elements within the company. The idea of movement and energy expressed within surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing was highly attributed along with their illustrations and current affairs to do with the environment, including their campaign at the time ‘Enjoy Not Destroy’ organic clothing collection. Steam-bending is one of the many green techniques used in woodwork and based on my research, this method was ideal for the brief. The two rails that form the structure hold a subtle recognition to the two surfers whom began the UK brand and its logo in 1983.
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