Thursday, 26 December 2013

On the 2nd Day of Christmas...

...this blogger gave to thee...

...two bits of wood...
...and a calendar made of tea.

When I was in uni, I ventured out of my comfort zone, away from silver and fire and decided to use wood in my work. I had no experience with this unless you include making a very dodgy tool box in high school or making very shoddy shadow boxes. But it meant going to a lovely little shop on the outskirts of Dunkeld and choosing a couple of different woods for my chess set. It was the kind of place my grandpa Charlie would have loved, an Aladdin's cave of oak and walnut, veneers and 4x4's, tools and polishes...and it smelt amazing. And I picked my apposing sides, a white oak and a dark wood called amazakoue and then spend hours at the lathe in the workshop whittling.

I'd now love a lathe all of my own. So here are two pieces of design made of wood, but anything but wooden.

Wooden treat no.1 is a piece of wooden design I have been meaning to share since I saw it. Elisa Strozyk has take a ridged material and incredibly precise, sharp geometric shapes and created a beautiful and remarkably flexible form of wooden fabric.

Strozyk's textiles are made of thin shards of wooden veneer attached in geometric patterns to a backing of fabric. When the textiles, which Strozyk turns into carpets, throws, blankets, curtains, clothes and upholstery, is laid flat, takes on the very traditional attributes associated with using wood as a material. It is a rigid carpet of tiles, but as it is draped and allowed to fall naturally over a surface, the traditional concept of how wood behaves is altered, as the 5,000 triangles on one of her blankets reveal a flexible and soft material.

This aspect of the designers work is enhanced depending on the geometry of the pattern Strozyk's creates, some allowing more or less flexibility, her work is all about altering our perception of wood and removing our presumptions of how it behaves.

Wooden treat no.2 is a piece of wooden installation designed by Gerhard Mayer for  Kunsthalle Wil, Switzerland.

Made using 7,200 wooden rods stacked within a plastic frame, Mayer has created a moveable pincushion of wood, which can be depressed to create concave and convex undulations on either side of the partition. Not unlike a giant Pin Art toy. Within the room it fills of the museum, Mayer creates a juxtaposition between the natural curves of natural, untreated wood, pressed into a tactile swags of circle and the stark severity of an industrial space.

So there is day two, with one ridged material and two very different ways to make that material soft and go against its natural traits. I like that and I hope you do too.

Link | Elise Strozyk: Wooden Textiles (Artist Website)
Link | A Blanket Made Out of Wood That Actually Works! via Fast Company
Link | Elise Strozyk: Wooden Carpet via Design Boom
Link | Gerhard Mayer via Triangulation Blog
Link | Gerhard Mayer: Wood (Artist's Website)

Merry Christmas! Part three tomorrow...
Listening: Snow - Rosemary Clooney

1 comment:

David said...

I really like your chess sets.

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