From sketch to finish

In “Maine Architects Design Furniture”
By IAN PAIGE  |  July 11, 2007

"Drawing connections: Experience Frank Lloyd Wright’s work at the PMA." By Ian Paige.
Visit the top floor of the Portland Museum of Art for a local contribution to the design discussion. “Getting Personal: Maine Architects Design Furniture” displays the results of unique collaborative efforts between architects and artisans. Enlarged reproductions of napkin sketches nod to the free flow of ideas, resulting in finished pieces of varying form and function. The process is documented in a short video that emphasizes the craft of problem-solving.

John and Matthew Silverio work with Cam Pierel to achieve a stark unity with “Ash Table and Tray.” The two-piece sits elegantly with sharp corners and a balance of natural wood tone for the legs and a deep black stain for the top.

Richard L. Bernhard and Geoff Warner bring us a cherry wood library table with a comforting mix of acute angles and subtle curvatures. The legs taper from the base to meet the beveled edges of the tabletop.

Christopher Campbell’s designs for Brian Lazarus result in some successful envelope pushing. The “Turtleback Chair” has a natural way of sitting in the space of the room, as though it’s sprouted from the ground. The round curves are sewn together by a thin layer of translucent plastic material that acts as a skeletal support so the chair can ingeniously flip over to offer a different seating angle. The potential offensiveness of the non-traditional material is offset by the bright tones of birch plywood in order to make these chairs at home in the loftiest of lofts.

Like the Wright exhibit downstairs, there is little context provided when these projects are huddled together rather than in their intended environs. What stands out, then, is the design problem and the individual solutions. Have fun seeing the process from sketches to finished pieces. The designers and builders clearly had a good time bringing them to you.

  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Cultural Institutions and Parks, Museums, Frank Lloyd Wright,  More more >
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