ON THE EDGE is a design exhibition of furniture and objects created by Helena and myself.
Exhibition open: 13 June – 8 July 2012, Wednesday – Sunday 10am – 4pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays).
At: ‘Hilltop on Tamborine’ 1525 Tamborine Oxenford Road, Tamborine Mountain, Gold Coast. Tel: 5545 1424. www.hotmt.com.au
Curated by Nora, this exhibition aims to promote sustainability in interiors by showcasing the craft tradition of furniture making. Most of the works on display are for sale and include production furniture pieces, my art objects and several art pieces and accessories by Helena.
Project: Cedar – Display tables, credenza and bookcase
Project start: March 2012
Brief: Custom design and make two side tables to display valuable collected tiles, a credenza and a cabinet for book storage, using the client’s own timber. The brief is very open with respect to the design, I have some free reign to design what I think will suit the material and the function.
I started by collected the timber material from the client’s storage, timbers include Huon pine, white cedar, silky oak, blackbean and Queensland maple. Some of these timbers have been in storage for up to 20 years so we need to assess them for suitability.
An initial inspction of the materials showed that I may be able to use white cedar for the display tables, the maple and cedar for the credenza and the pine for some parts of the bookcase. But closer inspection of the Huon pine showed that it has some discolouration from ageing so it may be that it will only be used for internal structure.
Timber for Cedar Project
The craft of furniture making is about understanding process. From identification and selection of materials, to development of concepts, design and making, each step is performed with thought about how it relates within the process. In the purest forms of craft, the choice of material will affect form, which in turn will direct aesthetics, ergonomics, function and use. A craftsman will work first with the material and maintain a process that is not in conflict with its properties. To me it seems that design sometimes takes another approach – it is liable to maintain integrity of form at the expense of appropriate material selection resulting in an impractical, overdesigned product.
Although a traditional craftsman’s process most often begins at the material, commercial reality mean that budget or aesthetics is often my starting point. So in order to find the best balance between cost, functionality and aesthetics, I find the most suitable relationship between material and process to assist in defining the making process. I am interested in how the two important producers of our material culture – craft and design – can be joined to work towards the best sustain-able outcomes.
I have chosen a current project of making a series of furniture for a client to document my process of furniture making. This project is the designing and making of two side tables, a credenza and a bookcase from the client’s own timber. This page will be updated regularly with progress.
Here’s a link to my Design Hunter Q&A in habitusliving: designhunter
THINK… CONNECT… MAKE is a furniture making professional development short course program run by QUT Creative Industries in collaboration with me and Paul Morris from Join. The first of the courses ‘Thinking & Connecting’ will be held in July 2012 followed by ‘Making’ in January 2013. The course program is designed for designers and architects who would like to develop an idea through designing and making with the assistance of myself, Paul and the team at QUT.
For more information visit www.qut.edu.au/creative-industries/short-courses .