Smaller Things in Average Sized Spaces
I have researched the work of furniture designers, 3 of which I have chosen to explore further and I have written a short description of their work. My intention was to choose designers with a different style and look with designs predominantly made of wood, metal and fabric but this wasn’t so easy, I’m drawn to organic shapes!
Helen Kontouris is an Australian born designer who acquired a diploma in Arts Interior Decoration & Design RMIT in 1995. She is currently a freelance designer working on interiors, product design and furniture. I was intrigued by Helen’s design of the 101 chair, a moulded fibreglass and wool felt fabric chair that was created in 2017. The shape and form is exciting and playful and looks very comfortable. It could be used by both adults and children, but i’m sure children would explore the spaces underneath and to the sides more than sitting on it. This type of design would encourage you to want to find out more about how it was designed and its back story, a very intriguing piece of furniture.
Tom Raffield is a British designer who studied his degree at Falmouth College of Arts in 3D Sustainability and Design. His work is based around the eco-friendly art of steam bending. One particular design that caught my attention is the Leven Lighting range, this design was inspired during lockdown by the cliff faces and formations of the north coast of Cornwall. It is handcrafted using three tiers of curving oak or walnut timber secured with brass rivets, all sustainably sourced wood, a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. I’m a sucker for a design with a heart warming story. As a nation we were all affected in some way by the recent pandemic and to hear that beautiful design has been created in such a dark time in our lives makes me feel optimistic for the future, confirming that the way we live has an impact on all that we do, to know that Tom is also sourcing sustainable materials is just the cherry on the cake.
Tom Faulkner is a self taught artist and designer who became captivated by the possibilities offered by different materials in the early 1990s, which is when he began experimenting with metal and was intrigued by its qualities of strength and malleability from which he started using it to make furniture. One of his designs caught my eye, the Papillon Side Table made of delicate steelwork and is bold in colour, this design was inspired by Tom’s trip to California’s Joshua Tree National Park back in 2016 and the colours of the butterfly. Again here is a design that was inspired by nature, the form and playfulness of the design is beautiful. The organic shapes find strength in the material, leading down towards reflection on the base.
Having researched three designs, I then chose one of them to explore further. I sketched the design of the small pendant, freehand and to scale 1:1 and identified the different materials and junctions between those materials.
The Leven Pendant is made up of curving oak or walnut timber with a central plywood frame and secured by brass rivets. The oak and walnut is sustainably sourced and the varnish used is eco-friendly. The ancient skill of steam bending the wood is used with the added benefit of no chemicals or additives. They pride themselves in not using a production line, they are just handcrafted designs, with a valued heritage and an understanding that every experiment holds the key to a new way of doing things. These images show the details that make up the pendant.
Fig. 1 – The 101 Chair designed by Helen Kontouris https://www.schiavello.com/furniture/products/seating/101-chair (accessed 3.6.22)
Fig. 2 – The Leven Pendant designed by Tom Raffield https://www.tomraffield.com/products/leven-pendant-small (accessed 3.6.22)
Fig. 3 – Tom Faulkner’s side table design, The Papillon https://www.tomfaulkner.co.uk/product/papillon-bedside-table/ (accessed 3.6.22)
Fig. 4 – My free hand sketch of The Leven Pendant designed by Tom Raffield Walker, T (2022) Freehand sketch of pendant [Pencil and paper] in possession of: the author: Stoford
Fig. 5 – The details that make up the Leven Pendant designed by Tom Raffield https://www.tomraffield.com/products/leven-drum-pendant (accessed 3.6.22)