Physical Development: Scale models, embossing and experiments in "Ornamation"
These past few weeks have been filled with new design moments, conceptual revelations and physical ideation and development. Among these new discoveries and explorations a theme and process has surfaced I've coined "Orna-mation", revisions to some furniture forms including the AC Rocker and developing a motif for embossing leather. Ornamentation is the process of using digital design software like photoshop and illustrator to create patterns and ornamentation that is then engraved into a surface using CNC machining.
Ornamentation is the process of using digital design software like photoshop and illustrator to create patterns and ornamentation that is then engraved into a surface using CNC machining.
Blanket barrel engraving tests
These motifs are derived from stitch patterns typical in quilting and other textile practices. They were traced from diagrams showing the stitch pattern, altered in illustrator and carved in the surface of white oak using an engraving tool path on the CNC.
These Ornamation's will be featured on the surface of the "Blanket barrel" that will be part of the final furniture collection.
Digital Woodblock carving tests
Another use of this process is relief carving woodblocks for printing. Below is an image of a trestle bridge I altered in Photoshop then derived a tool-path from its inverted image.
This design, like the stitch patterns above, were then cut into a block of cherry.
This quick and effective creation of a printing matrix ties into the themes I have been exploring of fusing automation and digital design with traditionally handmade, analog visual mediums like wood block printing.
Scale model Revisions
Aside from the more material/process experiments discussed above designs and revisions are ongoing for the major forms that will compose the final collection. One particularly difficult form is the AC rocker which has gone through many iterations. This is the most recent attempt to synthesize all of the elements the chair should incorporate including, traditional construction, CNC manufactured parts, ergonomics, simplicity, tactility and ornamentation.
Aesthetically the form has taken on a more rounded, spindle nature and expresses moments and joinery more prevalently embracing "traditional construction" methods common in pre modernist chair manufacturing. Ergonomically the chair has a more reclined "loungy" posture and geometry giving it a more contemporary appearance and resulting in a more comfortable chair.
CNC produced parts
Incorporating digital manufacturing into the final design of the chair is crucial both as a exercise in contemporary design and for the purpose of creating tactile details that otherwise would be very difficult and time consuming to produce. An example of employing the CNC for this purpose is in creating a recessed pocket in the underside of the armrest for the AC rocker.
This recessed pocket creates a dished pocket that is both tactile intriguing and aesthetically appealing. This successfully modelled and machined part signifies my debut in independent three-dimensional CNC machining!
I have taken careful consideration on how ornamentation might be infused into the chair without over shadowing the other details and the overall form of the chair. One way I have decided to subtly infuse the design with surface ornamentation is embossing the leather slung back with a design motif.
These simple embossings were created by wetting bridal leather and pressing the sections of galvanized steel and aluminum seen at the top of the image.
These explorations are just a start in the process of developing processes and methods in manipulating material and concepts. Some of these ideas are just a stop or experiment along the way, others will be continued to be resolved designed with the goal of being incorporated in future designs.
Thanks for reading! M