Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Parrot Chairs ... Sketching in Metal

Inspiration Photo

Via a referral from a friend in Massachusetts, we were contacted by a client who had an interest in having Sam fabricate some 'parrot chairs'. The client had saved a picture from a magazine, but had no other details like measurements, what the front legs looked like, a close up of the parrott detail, etc. We agreed to make a mockup for a small fee and the results and their proposed changes are shown below. It took us a while to get to it as there were some 'thought problems' to work through such as how to bend the back legs/hoop piece with even a small amount of repeatable control. I'm sure these things are pressed out cold by the thousands in factories around the world, but unfortunately, we're not one of them. We ended up making a pretty elaborate jig that, with a few modifications, will work fine. The jig was essentially based on the one we use to steam bend backs for Windsor chairs, something we've been doing since the late 70's. Creating a new chair design is tough in any medium, as what you are really creating is a functional sculpture, something viewed from all four sides with small complications like comfort, durability, and repeatable production thrown in. Tough in wood, not much easier in metal ... We'll see if we get to build them .... It will be a challenge for sure if we do ....
The 'sketch'

Proposed changes to the 'sketch' ... click to enlarge

Back view

Test drive ...The seat needs to be wider in the front and the back needs to be tipped back a little more .... other than that, not bad for comfort ...

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