It Lives

It's been close to year since I had to admit defeat with the Origami Chair. The time I had available to work on it had run out and there was a long list of previously designed commissioned work with fast approaching deadlines. 

I am fortunate to have very understanding clients and Jed is no exception. So, after a long delay, we are back Origami Chair, and we have come to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. 

That big form from last year did get used. We did attempt to press the back legs, back rest and arm rest as one complete panel, it didn't work. Maybe it was the expansion / contraction from the moisture in my glue with alternating grain, maybe it was a lack of pressure in certain parts of my form, the point of the matter is it failed. Love your experiments, calm your brain, move forward. 

Once back at the drawing board the decision was made to forgo the idea of a chair composed of just 2 panels (parts). A little bit of an adjustment to the original form and I was able to press the back legs, and arm rests separate from the larger back panel. Basically I would create what you see above in three pieces instead of just one. 

These are the parts I managed to make last year before having to move on. There was still a glimmer of hope that this could all work out. What came next was maybe the biggest personal wood bending breakthrough I have experienced. Laminating with a strap. 





Valet Chair

At the end of 2014 we finished up a commission for a custom valet chair. The customer was fond of our aesthetic and wanted to see what our take on Hans Wagner's iconic Valet Chair (1954) would be.

Hans Wagner - Valet Chair (1953)

Hans Wagner - Valet Chair (1953)

As par the standard commissioning process we created 3 concepts for the client, what's below is the one he wanted to see become a reality. For those not familiar, the valet chair is intended to be a chair that accommodates getting dressed / undressed. The back of the chair (like many chairs) is to hang a suit jacket/blazer. What's unique from many chairs is the "clothes hanger" section is shaped to replicate ones shoulders, (higher end jackets often have horse hair pads in the shoulders, the shape of the shoulders helps to keep the shape of the jacket). This was the only real criteria from the client, he even provided a hanger to reference. 

The seat on the chair hinges from the front edge providing a place to fold / hang trousers over as well as exposing a leather lined compartment for ties / belts / cuff links / wallet / phone / keys and anything else you may want to store. 

This valet chair forced me to evaluate a different set of requirements within a familiar form. Yes, like all chairs this one needed to be strong, and have an appealing aesthetic. Where it differed is the emphasis on this chair was not in comfort (it did turn out very comfortable by coincidence), but instead in creating a chair that one could easily and intuitively get dressed / undressed using day in and day out. 

Below are the original two valet chairs created in walnut, with leather details and custom fabricated brass hinges.