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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Metal Chair: Part 1 (100th post!)

I never imagined we'd make it here: this is Making Tembo's 100th blog post! I've been posting on here for about 3 years - it originally started as a resume-type thing to get an internship, but has really grown as a way for me to track my work, learn from other people, and learn to tell stories about what I make. The blog is still an amazing resume too - and if anyone has questions about what I do or how the blog works, please be in contact! 

This post is the first part of 3. I designed this metal chair in my Metal Fabrication: Rethinking Furniture class this last semester. We were graded on our process photos, which was a really great practice for me. I'd like to get in the habit of having more process photos, just like this! 

The first post (this one) will talk mostly about the design process and the beginning of construction. The second post will be about the bulk of the construction, and the third will be about finishing touches and the final product. Hopefully I don't bore y'all :)

I've never taken a class like this one before, and it was an eye-opening experience. The amount of freedom we were given while designing was very empowering. I feel like I got to think very deeply about the object I was going to make, which I haven't done for many other projects. 

Here's a link to my design presentation. You can see that it starts out with the words I chose to describe the object I wanted to create, then moves into research and inspiration pictures. I decided to make a chair for my sewing space, so there's also some pictures of my sewing machines and the table they sit on in my room. And finally, there are screenshots of my original CAD drawings. 

The curve of the back was calculated using some design books, so it will hug the curve of the back and be very ergonomic. The back and seat stayed the same, but the base changed a lot over the course of the construction process. We realized that the design in this picture was not going to be stable at all, but I kind of tabled the issue until later on and dove right into making the seat and back part. 

These are my clay models, which I used to decide the proportions of the top and bottom. 

I also laser-cut the silhouette out of MDF. When I did this, a friend and I tested the curve of the back and I made some adjustments to the height of the curve to make it more comfortable. 

Before starting construction, I thought through what the best way to make the top and seat was. My teacher and I knew there were two routes we could go: bending metal bar to make all of the curves, or cutting out pieces on the plasma cutter and welding them together. On two different pieces of paper, I planned out what the construction process would look like for each option. Even though using the plasma cutter was going to be slightly more straightforward and exact, I decided to bend metal bar, because I liked the rounded edges of it more. 

So I used the metal rollers to mock-up some of the pieces. 

It was lots of guess and check to finally get it to the place I wanted it to be: 

And then I did the same thing with the bottom: 

I also mocked up what I wanted the cushions to look like, but (like an idiot) I completely forgot to take pictures of that :/. 

Next post, I'll get into more of the construction process and how the design changed over time. Here's a little sneak-preview: 

Happy 100th post!
-Taft WK

1 comment:

  1. Girl!! This is remarkable. Can't wait to see the rest of the story. And the chair!! Happy 100th!