20 January 2013

Tutorial: Modified Director's Chair

After enjoying a great bottle of Lunetta Prosecco distributed here domestically by Palm Bay International. Its extremely affordable ($11.00 USD) with a crisp, light taste.  I loved it! (Forgive me, I digress.) I saved the cork, cage and foil packaging and proceeded to undertake my first attempt at designing a chair to enter into the annual DWR Champagne Chair contest. I gathered the following additional supplies: steak knife, X-Acto knife, wire cutter, scissors, glue (the only adhesive the contest would allow), and an emery board nail file.  So here were my starting materials:
a great sparkling wine
salvaging raw materials for building
Not too sure where this little project would end, I just stared at the raw materials for a bit. This is after having looked at some great designs from past years as well as current entrants. The name on the foil label made me think of the name on the back of a director's chair, so I went with that. I also thought it might be a little different to do a rocking chair.  I proceeded.  First, I carefully removed only the foil covering the cork, making sure to keep the round piece in tact. I uncorked the bottle and enjoyed a great glasses of wine (not the same day I made the chair...ha, ha). Later, I separated the bottom wire (that you untwist while opening the bottle) from the rest of the cage. By slicing the foil with the X-Acto knife close to the adhesive, I was able to remove the foil from the neck of the bottle in one large piece. Next, I cut the round top of the cork away form its narrower neck. By cutting that piece once again, I was left with two half circles. From the neck of the cork, I carved what was to become the seat of the chair.  That shape is called a trapezoid, I think. I had no idea that cutting sawing cork would be such a challenge but it was! I changed blades often, switched between knives and made do. As a result, the emery board made it easier to smooth out and even up the edges after I made my cuts. Here's what I had about mid-way through the project:

I used the wire to form an open ended rectangle with rounded corners. Using scissors, I trimmed the foil around the typography elements I wanted to feature. I folded the large 'lunetta' piece then wrapped it around the wire away from the open ends. I glued the foil to its self, sandwiching the wire inside. An additional piece of plain foil was glued over this to give a finished look to the piece. I attached the half circle pieces of cork to each open wire hanging at the bottom of what had become the back of the chair. I bent the wire so that the rounded part of the half circles become the "feet" of the chair. Next, I glued the second piece of foil over the seat of the chair, like upholstering. The sides of the seat of the chair were then glued to the sides of the feet (adjusting the angle by eye). Finally, a small triangular shaped pieces of cork was glued along the back of each half-circle shaped foot of the chair. I did end up removing two of the four twisted wires making up the cage, using each of them as an arm. I bent each piece like an 'L'. I inserted the raw edge of the wire into the top, front portion of the half circle allowing the finished edge of the wire meet the back of the chair.  Each arm was 'upholstered' with a small rectangular piece of cork. This was the final result from various angles:

Call-small did a wonderful job with her "Circle Chaise" and urged others to participate.  Did anyone else answer her call and make a cork chair for the 2013 DWR Champagne Chair contest? 

Update. More Blogger friends answered the call...


Mini Dork said...

Thanks for progress pics and info on how you made it. I debated photo documenting mine more, but since I waited until the last hours I was just rushing to finish it. NAIL FILE!!!! Ahh that would have really helped my jagged edges out. Next year!

Linda did one here:

modernist molly said...

I love the idea of a rocking directors chair. Thanks for sharing the process also like your letter. Good ideas all around

studioseven said...

Megan, you are most welcome.

Thanks Molly.

Neen said...

Wow! Fabulous chair!

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