52 Create – my weekly creative project for 2011. Last week I brought you the wildly popular Flat Pack Rocking Chair, which is up on my Etsy store, and getting huge traffic (don’t worry I will put up more chairs as they sell). So this week I thought I would continue on the flat pack idea and make a small stool for a toddler (ie. my daughter). Anyone with kids in the 12+ month range knows how much they love to sit on things, so why not make a little piece of furniture her size?
The stool is made out of 1/2″ baltic birch, I was going to use 3/4″ but at the last second opted for the thinner stock. I’m quite glad I did as it is still plenty strong enough (I can stand on it) and it keeps it nice and lightweight (my 18 month old daughter can lift it easily). It’s 8″ x8″ x 8″ and is just perfect for your average 18 month + child. I really like the design and may enlarge it to make some end-tables for our living room (I’d use 3/4″ and likely 16″ pieces). The entire stool collapses into a pile of wood 1/5″x8″x8″ so very easy to ship and even easier to put together (no glue, nails, screws, or tools required).
I want to tweak a few design aspects on this one before I list it on Etsy, but I think it will be a hot seller just like the Flat Pack Rocker! I’ve got a couple of commissions coming up so the next few projects may be a bit scaled back compared to the last couple of weeks, come back next week to see what’s coming out!
52 Create, my weekly creative output for 2011. I guaranteed something more ambitious this week, and here it is! I call it “For those who Like to Rock”. It’s a flat pack rocking chair made out of baltic birch plywood. It’s sized for a toddler (1.5-4 years) and assembles without and glue or screws. I’ve had several different variations of this in my many sketchbooks, and I even made a prototype a few years back, however this is a full finished product.
This rocking chair is now for sale on my Etsy Site, feel free to stop by and make a purchase….
When I originally started this blog it was supposed to be about crafts, photography, and design. Over the past year I’ve kept up with the photography and the design, but crafts have suffered greatly. It didn’t help that I was overseas with few tools or materials, but now I have a plan.
Starting this week I’ll be doing what I like to call “52 Create”. Each week for the entire year (ie. 52) I’ll be making a craft of some sort and posting them every Tuesday for all to see. The crafts will range from toys to furniture and everything in between, and while many will be wooden, some other materials may sneak into the mix too. I’ll be making these items for myself and my family, however if some turn out particularly well or are popular on the blog, I”ll make some extras and put them on my Etsy site.
I plan to keep up with the Photo of the Week (with top photos also being put onto Etsy), and there’ll be the odd post on cool stuff I see on the web, but the focus is really going to switch to the crafts and photography for the next year. The design part of the blog will come out of the crafts I make.
Stay tuned, I’m already excited about this week’s 52 Create…
Black Forest Wood Company offers many wood working classes and I’ve always been interested in taking one or two of them. Unfortunately my previous line of work had me away at night and on weekends, which ruled out just about every class they have ever offered. The class that interested me the most was “Anatomy of a Chair” taught by Doug Haslam. Doug is a local furniture designer and maker and has been teaching this class for several years.
The class is limited to 8 students so you get lots of one on one time with Doug. He has a great wealth of knowledge and what I really liked about the class was that he would give instruction, and then let you go and figure it out for awhile. He was always around for questions and you really got the most out of the class by asking as many as possible.
The weekend was spent learning the various geometries of chairs, then designing and finally building a prototype chair out of poplar using screws to hold it together. You were free to do whatever you liked, however the chair was meant to be of the kitchen/dining variety. At the end of the second day we were taught about mortise and tenon joints and shown how to make one. My only criticism was that we didn’t actually get to practice this.
I was quite happy with my chair and how it turned out. It’s not necessarily the style of chair I would make for myself, I chose the design in order to best learn the various techniques needed to build it. It’s incredibly comfortable, and while I never meant for it to be used in my house, it is currently attached to my daughters booster seat high chair as it’s far more stable than our crappy Ikea chairs. I highly recommend the course, it’s well worth the money and you don’t even require a whole lot of woodworking skills as Doug can teach you as you go (a couple of guys in the class had only ever used hand tools but were quickly brought up to speed on the bandsaw, jointer, table saw, and drill press).
Back from travelling and a ton of pictures to sort through. After a couple of weeks in both Amsterdam and Berlin, I have many rolls to develop, would have been even more but there was a fair amount of rain that made picture taking a little less enjoyable. Berlin was incredibly dark and overcast, that combined with the early sunsets meant not a lot of light in general.
Anyways, in Amsterdam everyone rides bikes, I was truly jealous not to live somewhere where this is the culture. The one thing that really stood out for me were the bikes seen above that could carry loads! During the week I was there I saw variations of this bike carrying everything from kids, to lumber (sheets of plywood) to a couch (two seater love seat, yes I’m serious). These seem like such a great idea as you can haul your kids as well as your groceries, and your precious cargo is right in front of you unlike in a chariot type trailer.
Yes, this was the actual exhibit poster, I kid you not… I love furniture design, it’s something I’d like to do one day, so when I saw an advertisement for Mobi Boom, French Furniture Design from 1945-1975, I could not turn it down. The exhibit was at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, which is right beside the Louvre. Personally, I’d rather go to this museum than the Louvre any day.
After the second world war, there were major reconstruction projects across the entire country, and not only did they need new houses, but new furniture. This caused a huge boom in French furniture design and the founding of many great names (Knoll and Roche Bobois to name a few…)
The exhibit focussed on the great array of furniture that was produced and some of the innovative techniques that were used (plywood moulding, foam injection, etc.) The displays were truly terrific, although somewhat disappointing in that you couldn’t sit on any of the items…
The exhibit continues till January 2nd, 2011, highly recommended, and afterwards, head up to the 7th floor for the permanent exhibits with more furniture design.
One of the greatest Dutch furniture designers is being honoured by an exhibit in Utrecht, Netherlands. I’m a huge fan of his work and hope to check out this exhibit when I visit the country in November. Design Boom has a great post on the exhibit and his life’s work.