Thursday, 3 December 2009

Furniture Project - Workshop Based

Thought I should give you a preview of what I've been up to lately...
Brief: design a well made and fully considered piece of furniture.

Another group project and another learning experience. From the very start of this project, it has been very challenging. The new brief challenged us in ways we had never before been asked to...this was the first project that involved us jumping from our sketchbooks in the studio to making an actual finished and working piece. Unlike the scale models where there can be the odd discrepancy - if things are slightly out on our furniture chances are that it will collapse!

A few sketches from my notebook (these were done when I should have really been concentrating on a talk that was being delivered to our class, whoops!).

Designers are well known for trying to think far too complicated and think in strange ways that sometimes 'normal' people cannot understand...well we fell into that trap. Trying to come up with a piece of furniture that was special to someone and that could hide something sentimental to them. It was fine drawing all these ideas into our sketchbooks but we were forgetting one thing...we would have to actually make this.

Now I'm not gonna lie, my skills in a workshop are very basic. I only had good old CDT in first and second year at high school but most of the time spent in there was either making pencil holders or just having a general muck about thanks to us having it last on a Friday afternoon... The only thing I gained from this was being able to sand and knowing how to saw things- this just really didn't prepare me for the shock I was about to get.

Getting a skills day allowed us to gain a basic understanding of the machines down in the workshop and learn a few basic joints (Half and half and mortise and tenon joint) then for the real thing.

To begin with things were slow. Everybody was in the same boat and most of the time was spent standing about trying to work things out for ourselves. This steep learning curve though provided a little self confidence in myself.

I didn't think that I could do half the things that I am learning in the workshop but I'm happy to report that I have successfully managed some manly things! Sawing, chiseling, drilling, you name it, I can do it! Never mind Bob the Builder... Okay well I'm not that good yet (judging by the cut on my hand that I got today while chiseling finger joints...) but I'm getting there.

So I thought I'd upload some pictures of what we've made so far. Don't laugh I'm so happy with it!

This is only part of the finished piece so far. This is a table that will be slotted in underneath the chair.

The table is decorated with these oak routes that will be attached to runners on the chair allowing the table to be slid in and out when needed.

Moving the table is easy with the handles that we have built into the table. These are outlined with a thin oak beading.

And if I've learnt anything so far - KEEP IT SIMPLE!

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