Greyfriars

New public works project commences Spring 2015 for Grey Friars garden, Canterbury, Kent. 

Project to feature sculptural seating works to enlighten the experience of journey through this wonderful park space to the West of Canterbury, Kent, U.K.

Keep checking back to see project develop.

Image above from initial site visit shows the main path through this delightful space directly in line with the chapel on the river and the Cathedral in the background.

Also for Spring 2015 - new Ppod benches - colour plus and natural versions of this design will be arriving soon.

 

Now available in green.

...long time...

…yes, I know.

so busy, so many projects...

…so little time to mention them all.

Here is a quick sneak look though at latest incarnation of Kre . Picked up today from Milwyn Fine Art foundry. 1st opportunity to experience this piece for real will be in the 'collectibles' hall at Design Shanghai March 2015. Dragon Kre is patinated hollow cast bronze work created from an original carved template design by Alun Heslop. We are of course naturally very excited about this new piece.

Many other works and projects completed such as the 5.5m high carved standing oak sculptural form -  The Tree of Life.  There's a New 4m White bench,  More concrete in a new Beam bench design, Works for Hancocks the Jewellers, London (more on that in Spring 2015), Sculptural road bridge underway amongst things and here's Alun - just hanging around on a cantilevered suspended bench!

Creation

New chair Kre - now complete. Out of the door at Milwyn fine art foundry.

First opportunity to experience this new piece will be at Welcome to the Material Mind exhibition.

Mean while here is a look into one of the structures of our current major interiors project underway. This is the central unit forming part of a bespoke sales area counter. More on this to follow.

Elsewhere in chaircreative land - Work underway on a new tree seat for Bordehill Gardens in Sussex. This is a ring formation seating piece carved in oak wood.

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Solidified in form.

Latest bronze chair Kre nears completion at Milwyn Fine art foundry. 

The component cast parts have now been welded into the singular chair form. 

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A small amount of 'line-edge' chasing and correction is required before the final surface finishing - easier said than done with bronze metal. You can also see the template mould form chair in the background used in reference for the assembly of the bronze version. Those skeletons from the closet keep on hanging around too!

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The final surface will now be patinated and polished through to pick up detailing. Image below shows the test application of different patina finishes, whilst the back still shows the coarse pre finished surface.

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Completion due mid March.  Images to follow thereafter.

First public showing of Kre will be at - 'Welcome to the Material Mind' exhibition - April 21 to May 1 2014 at Great Western Studios, London.

Meanwhile, one of our major interiors projects takes shape - below is the base section of a desk unit that forms part of a suite of sculptural free standing furniture elements and sales/reception area for specialist London retail space. More to follow on this project in due course.

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Let's pour some chairs.

It's not quite as easy as that of course, we are certainly not talking about plastic!

So, here we are are Milwyn Foundry about to pour bronze.

The crucible

In theory it all seems very simple. Pour hot liquid from bucket into moulds.

Of course, it appears deceptively simple and there are actually a lot of factors to take on board for the experienced artisan foundry workers when pouring liquid bronze at 1100 C. Paramount is perhaps set up of the moulds. These must be scrupulously clean from any wax residues or carbon on the inside before pouring bronze (not as straightforward as may first appear.) See earlier posts for more about the 'Lost Wax casting process' Pouring temperature and amount of bronze in molten state as well as rate of pour in different size sections are all factors that need to be taken into account.

These innocuous looking lumps are actually the moulds for the back sections.

The crude looking lumps above look like they should have nothing to do with fine cast mirror polished chairs, however what is visible on the outside is the coarse coating ceramic and wire frame structure that supports the fine inner ceramic mould shell within. The top lump perhaps gives more of a clue to what is to happen as you can see the pour cup and flow tubes that reach to fill the component. 

The sandbox being loaded with moulds. The sand also helps to support the mould structures when being cast.

Furnace. A bronze ingot sits on top.

Checking the temperature of the molten bronze with a digital lance pyrometer. A crucial factor.

Extracting the crucible.

Pouring into the moulds. Note the tin foil covers over pour cups. This is to stop contaminates entering the moulds during filling of sandbox.

In the last frame you can see the glowing now solid bronze at the top of the pour cups.

And here is one we made earlier! This is the back leg cast component after first stages of clean up.

On the inside.

The image above gives a really good indication as to what is being created at this point.  Here you can see the hollow void inside the back leg component and also still visible evidence cut through of the pouring flow channels at the top of the section

Once all the components have been cast and initial clean up stages towards mirror polished finish, the sections will then be welded together with the same bronze material used from the pour. All welds will then be chased backed and smoothed into a single fluid form before the final mirror polishing stage.  

The first stage of tack weld assembly to check against the original template form will happen early January 2014. More to follow...

The beauty of 1:5

Having previously extolled the virtues of 1 : 1 templating. What about model making?

Scale models and mock ups can be invaluable as a way of readily getting a sense of 'form' for various projects and communicating what the thing or idea is really going to look like. As previously mentioned too, even the most basic of model or mock up can give much more 'real-sense' information than the most elaborate of 3d animated renders.

Why is this?

A model occupies a real space presence. It can viewed all around, as can a 3d render, the difference is that it has a tangible and tactile placement.  You can touch it. 

That's not to say that 3d animated renders are not as good - just different. Think of the virtues of a walk through animation through a new architectural space.

The very act of creating a model for elements of sculptural furniture even in its most basic form allows a more direct cognitive exploration of actual structure - How will I be able to make this element at full size?

Models can also then of course be photographed to emulate the full size work. 

 1:5 model mock up of sculptural table form

1:5 model mock up of sculptural table form

1 : 5 is a good size.  Big enough to be able to convey a sense of stylistic form.  Small enough to to be able to readily create (unless that is you are creating models of sky scrappers and cities perhaps!)

Layers upon Layers of templates!

These are template sections from 2 quite un-related projects.  

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Makes quite an interesting image - especially with feet in view! 

So, here I am really just making a flat image for a 'cut-out' of the top template - a curved perspex screen for a desk, that features a vinyl graphic overlay. Below is actually another project altogether laid out on the floor. A 2.3m diameter concentric ring formation tree seat. The silver disc in the centre is the inner compass point and of course also represents the tree. More soon...

The power of 1:1

In the design and creation of new projects an important aspect is to be able to visualise the intended outcome. Sometimes drawings / renders with photo overlay at locations can be enough in order to set about the process of making. Scale model and quick mock up maquette making is another very useful tool to be able to really get a true insight into the spatial presence and possible scenarios that may be encountered during creation.  You may think it is perhaps enough to just produce 3d 'walk round' drawings or CAD renders of a new project, however even the most basic of scale models can more often that not describe far more real sense information that the most elaborate of 3d animated sketch ups.

For some projects though especially those with more complex interactions 1 : 1 templating and mock up is an extremely useful and practical way to really get a grasp on how the thing is going to exist, a true sense of scale that answers one of the basic questions - will it fit. Will everything that I want to put in it fit  - and perhaps even more importantly - how will I be able to move around the new piece or project, especially if the new work is positioned in a more restrictive space.  In more complex furniture based related projects, 1:1 can allow an accurate feasibility study of the functionality issues that must be resolved.  An example below shows a 1:1 outlines mock up template with simplified sketch overlay of a shop space central sales area counter console that requires a lot of access storage from the vendors side, whilst still fitting into the intended dimensions of the shop floor. It allows testing of ease of access of draws, shelves and also testing aspects of integration of the high stool seating for the client side that is part of the overall look of the design. This is one of our current projects and will be posting more on this as it takes shape. The template here is the wireframe on which the styling hangs.

 

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In the project below - the Findon bench, 1:1 was used to full effect in situ to test for the outline placement of the intended bench form. In this case we even mocked up the seated effect so that view aspects across the garden could be evaluated.

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Sometimes of course it just comes down to the practicality of marking up lines to complex wall curvatures such as in this sculptural bed with integral side tables that fits up into a non uniform concave divisional wall. We like a challenge of course! 

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And here's a picture of the Tricorne table in situ. In the background is a Nimm type chair too. This small table features a sculpted vane edge leg arrangement in ash with elm top. (see earlier posting with the template form.)

Tomorrow - we are installing a first for chaircreative.  A sculptural ash scattering area  for a new burial ground.  And yes, mock up templates were even created of these sculptural oak posts and set up in situ in order to get a feel for the intended layout of the space. More on this and images to follow soon. 

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Wax Works

The melting pot. 

A visit to Milwyn foundry to check on the progress of the making of Kre

The Moulds have been created from the component parts and the first positive waxes produced. Kre is being produced with the 'lost wax' process of casting.  There is of course still a long way to go until the final piece comes together! At this stage though we are interested in generating good moulds. Good moulds make good waxes and good waxes produce clean definition castings. In the gallery below you can see the positive waxes with the hollow void cavities. You may notice that the back section has been broken down into smaller component parts to facilitate ease of sectional casting in the slender backrests. The next stage will be the ceramic dip to make the moulds for the bronze casting. Essentially this is about making a hard fired ceramic shell around the wax positives with pouring cups. The ceramic shells are painstakingly created in layers of multiple coated dipping - each carefully dried before applying the following coating. Reinforcing structure is also added to the larger component sections to keep them stable during casting. The ceramic coated moulds are then kiln fired to remove all of the wax inside and make the hard shell mould ready for pouring.

The bronze pour for Kre is due in around 3 weeks time - more pics to follow then on that part of the process of making. 

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And here's the ceramic dip process taking place of some old skeletons in the closet. It's certainly messy work!

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The inside line - from idea to reality

Here's a view of the inner detail of a new sculptural 3 vane leg element.

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This particular structure forms the basis of a coffee table commission. The original design shown below with glass top. The actual finished work by request will feature a single piece board top in elm wood. More pics to follow soon of the completed work in situ.

Above is one of several designs that where proposed in order to fulfil the desired brief of a small table to fit a pre-destined space. In the drawing above you can also see over-line sketch work on the actual 1:1 template showing the physical spatial presence on the workshop/studio floor. This template form was also taken to the client's location. Templating and model making are of course very useful tools in order to effectively visualise objects in the 'real' world to give a true indication of how traffic flow and integration works around the intended new piece. This small table outline template is  fairly straight forward to create, the styling though on the finished work is not, although the look of the final piece is that of a smooth fluid simplistic fin blade form, it comprises of many layers of sculpted compound relief cuts in order to achieve the desired effect.   I will be posting more on templating in due course in regard to some of the latest projects currently underway, which have much more challenging functionality to be included within the design brief.  In the meantime - below is the sketch drawing with solid wood top 

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Bronze

Here are a couple of images of the template casting patterns of one of the latest chair designs Kre

Seen here in the 'white' - this is assembled template form for the bronze casting. 

This chair will be produced initially as a polished bronze piece. 

This template form is now at the foundry where moulds have been created of all of the individual sections. Wax positives well then be produced in order to create the casting moulds for the liquid bronze.

Will post more information and images on next visit to the foundry. 

The template form is a meticulously hand carved wooden ergonomic sculptural form. It has then been spray painted in order to create a easier release process from the latex mould making of the components.  This is of course quite a large chair, however it will not be an entirely soild object as semi hollow voids will be created in the larger sections at the foundry into the positive waxes in order to reduce physical mass.

More information coming soon as this project develops. 

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Wood Awards 2013

Nimm Rae II chair shortlisted for the Wood Awards bespoke furniture category 2013. 

Of course this is not the first time chaircreative works have been shortlisted for the Wood Awards. 

WINNER 2008 - Sleeping Dragon Bench

SHORTLISTED 2007 - Lightbox Gallery Seating

You can experience Nimm Rae II at the Wood Awards showcase event at 100%design 18th - 21st September, Earls Court, London. 

See the exceptional shortlisted entrants in these features Wallpaper Magazine and Deco

 

Inspirational activity

It's the shape of the journey. The weight of the line, depth of the curve. 

Elsewhere - A world in miniature takes shape .

1:10 model spatial scaling of one of out latest interiors projects - more to follow...

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When in chairs...

Nimm type.

Latest delivery

stary stary night!

In some ways, everything is about light. The absence or presence thereof, how it moves, how it shifts and where it falls.

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Full studio set of images of Razorfish III and Nimm Rae II to follow soon.

going in boxes

New works now complete and ready to be shipped to latest exhibition 'Furniture with Soul' at the Gallery Naga, Boston, U.S.

Razorfish III

Nimm Rae II

Amidst the creation process of the latest run of chairs - the curse of 'any available flat surface'. In this instance - workshop course attendee Chris's bench in development gets commandeered as a handy table! You can follow more about his bench in later posts. He is currently working on a luxurious 2 seater garden bench to an original 'chaircreative' design. In the meantime a few more pics below of chairs and edges. There are of course several chairs below in the process of creation all at once. You can clearly see the component blank forms of the steam bent arm rests and back rests ready to be fitted.

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