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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Braided Rug for Little Artistas Ghiradelli Location: Part 1

Earlier this year, I got make a rug out of recycled materials for Little Artistas. (You can read about it here and here.) It now lives at the Noe Valley location in their little reading nook. 

Anna, the founder of Little Artistas, loved the rug so much that she asked for a second one for the new Ghiradelli location they opened this summer!
This new rug was especially fun for me because I got to be involved every step of the way. 

We started by going to SCRAP (Scrounger's Center for Reusable Art Parts), where we made a beeline for the fabric aisle and used the color scheme for the new studio to pick out coordinating colors. 

(Sorry for poor picture quality, SCRAP does not exactly have great lighting.)

The colors on the right would start at the center, and then move out to the colors on the left. We picked a mixture of solids and patterns partly to add visual interest, but also so there would be enough fabric. 

A note about the plan for this rug: we really didn't know how big it was going to be. I measured out my table and guessed I could make a rug about 6 feet in diameter, but we had no way of knowing how much fabric we would need to make this happen. We just kind of guessed, and we did a pretty good job! 

I took all the fabric home, washed, sorted, and cut it into strips. 

Here's some (not all) of the fabric lined up. I added in some fabrics from my own collection so I could start cleaning out before moving away (still very sad about losing my fabric collection). 

Same as with the last rug, I braided and braided and braided, sewing strips together as I went. I also sewed up part of the rug, but stopped when it grew too big for where my machine lived at the time (in a corner in my room). 

Because of the variety of fabric Anna and I found for the rug, the size of the braid was not consistent all the way through. This was a little tricky to sew later, but I actually think the inconsistent strips look really nice when the rug came together. 

Eventually, the wicker basket you see above was filled with braided fabric. And then a section of the floor of my room was also covered. And then I started nearing the last few bundles of fabric and so...

I moved Belutha (that's the name of my sewing machine) out into the dining room and put her next to the table so I could use the whole table for rotating the rug. 

Let me tell you, this was one heck of a workout. 

I had waited until the very end to move to this set up so the crowded dining room would only be an issue for as short a time as possible. I then spent a couple straight days sewing around and around and around...

I used up so much thread on this too. But I love all the different color threads that are in the rug! It adds to the busy-ness and gives the rug another dimension. 

In two weeks, there will be another post with final images!
See you then, 
Taft WK 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Metal Chair: Part 3

Alrighty, this is the final post about this chair! You can catch up here and here if you missed the last two. We last left off with the base completed and some of the structure for the back and seat cut out. 

As per my teacher's instructions, I made a cross out of very dense metal, with a circle in the center to put bolts through. This got welded into the base, and a piece of flat metal went on the bottom to cover it up.  

Then I did the upholstery! I got foam and pleather at Fabric Outlet (obvs). The foam was glued to the wood (see the last post), and the pleather was wrapped around that and stapled to the back. Staple gun for the win, that was probably the funnest part of this project! 

Here's what the seat looked like with the cushion, before I glued the cushion in: 

Then I welded the back and seat to each other. I cut half-circles into the bottom of the bar, so it could wrap around the back bar of the seat. This is similar to how the top of the base is constructed. 

The adjustable height hardware was bolted to the bottom of the seat. 

And I cut out a circle, welded it to the top of the base, and bolted the other half of the hardware in. 

And then I spray-painted! Primer, then a paint called "Oil-Brushed Bronze" and then a matte finisher. We were going for an old, cast-iron look, and the imperfections in the metal helped with this.  

I covered up the inside with paper, so as not to get paint where I would be gluing the cushions. 

Here's what the chair looked like post-paint. It's not twisted down all the way, which is why it looks a little awkward. 

At this point, the school year was over and my project wasn't exactly done. So I took all the pieces home and glued it there! Here's a whole bunch of photos of the final product: 

I hope there weren't too many photos for these last few posts, but I really liked getting in the practice of taking process photos for this project. It has served me well, especially for new design projects at college. (Unfortunately, this chair couldn't come live with me in my dorm :/)
See you in two weeks!
Taft WK