Amy Cunningham’s two in one

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Amy Cunningham is showing her Silhouette Stand and Screen at Workshopped 08. She explores the concept of making one object from the waste of another: “This year I wanted to create a piece for Workshopped that complements with my previous ranges of furniture.  The concept of slotting and connection is still a strong theme in my work and has continued into the silhouette range. The silhouette series was inspired by the desire to create a functional object out of the scrap material of another object. Being highly aware of the waste in the production of interior products and wanted to ensure my designs were not contributing to this. Silhouette is a 3 panel plywood self hinging screen with a sculptural slotted hat stand that is created out of the cut-out pattern of the screen.” To see more of Amy Cunningham’s stuff check out her website or noise.net.

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Stitch Chair

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Workshopped ‘08 has its opening night in Sydney tomorrow so I thought I’d take a look at some of the previous designs that have been exhibited. Adam Goodrum showed his stitch chair concept in 2005 which has since been put into manufacture by Cappellini. The laser cut aluminium sections have rolled “knuckle hinges” to allow the chair to fold completely flat. The interesting thing is that it doesn’t have the look of a conventional folding chair. It’s very unique folding mechanism is really what sets it apart from all the other folding chairs. The chair actually folds to be only 15mm thick, 25 folded chairs fit into the space of one open chair. At least if they don’t sell they won’t take up too much space in the warehouse.

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Porosity Bench

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The Porosity Bench is the work of Steven Holl Architects but you’ve only got to have a look at the image to know it was designed by an architect. Porosity bench features the sculptural form that is often seen in modern architecture. It is constructed of solid bamboo planes with digitally cut interlocking edges. It is a seat that can be seen through and it plays with light to casts beautiful patterned shadows. The bench was commissioned by Johnson Trading Gallery, produced in a limited edition of 10. The architect’s website shows some of the sketches that provide an interesting insight into the thinking and process behind the design.

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For some more laser cut inspiration check out Steven Holl Architects designs from last year: Riddled Table and Hingeless Front Cabinet.

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Susan Bradley’s creep range

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Susan Bradley is an up and coming British designer. She started out in the multi-media design industry before turning her attention to 3d design. She set up her design studio in 2004 to produce furniture, interior and exterior accessories, products and lighting designs. Much of her work uses laser cutting so that she can keep the manufacturing local, reducing environmental costs of transport. One of her new products is Creep pendant light shade. She says “this unique new design brings together the natural beauty of wood with delicate and intricate leafy detailing. The decorative design belies a simple construction – there are no materials employed other than the wood itself.” In the same range is the Creep table that was inspired by the way plants grow.

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Heavy machinery sculptures

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Belgian artist Wim Delvoyle has used laser cutting to manufacture full size sculptures of industrial vehicles such as cement mixers, excavators and trucks. The vehicles are covered in gothic style patterns which is a theme through much of his work.

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Delvoyle has a bizarre and controversial range of work, he’s tattooed pigs since the 1990s, made stain glass window style soccer goals, taken x-rated x-rays of people and painted shovels. Dieter Roelstraete, curator of MuHKA says “Delvoyle’s art is a celebration of paradox, based as it is on the Belgian surrealist tradition, the practice of conjoining two different elements/ideas in the same work. The gas cylinders painted in the style of Delft porcelain; the teak wood concrete mixer with baroque ornamentation; painted glass windows with sex scenes; excavators in the style of gothic cathedrals: they all reference, in their peculiar manner, the history of art.”

Via Core 77

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Lamp Chop

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Jeth Koh set out to design a contemporary mood light that requires a minimum of material and easy production. Koh stripped back the design, “chopping off unnecessary parts of a traditional lamp and redefining the functions of the different parts of the lamp”. Lamp Chop is laser cut from a single piece of sheet metal and folded to form a wall hanging lamp. While it resembles the silhouette of a traditional lamp the stand and base is “re-functioned into the bulb holder”. I like the efficiency of this design, the minimal material use and a minimum number of cuts and the way it reminds me of pop-up books. It’s the kind of design you look at and think to yourself “why didn’t I think of that?”

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Via yanko design

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Laser cut iris but not for a bionic man

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Michael Bihain trained as butcher and then as a carpenter before switching to interior design and furniture design. He currently teaches furniture conception at the St Luc Institute while also working with companies and distribution firms developing furniture, jewels and accessories. One of Bihain’s new designs is the iris table. He has used laser cutting to transform a single sheet of steel into a coffee table that resembles an iris. Unlike most tables the iris is stackable. I imagine stacking would come in handy along the distribution line and in a cafe or restaurant setting if they owned a few of them but probably not a necessary feature for home use. I don’t know of anyone who would need a whole stack of coffee tables in their house (although it does look quite cool). The tables come in black or white lacquered steel.

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How to write a product description

Swissmiss had a moustache necklace on her blog the other day. That’s right a moustache necklace. That’s definitely a unique jewellery idea, so I had a look at some of the designers other stuff. The moustache necklace was designed by Melanie Faveau, who it seems has a quirky sense of humour. If you’re having trouble writing a description maybe these will help.

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“Some people think that they’re sexy. Others whould say that they’re creepy. Me? Well, I just think that they’re the perfect way to express yourself! Seriously people, I think I’m losing it!”

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“Maybe it’s not perfect, maybe it’s a little bit crazy sometimes, maybe it doesn’t make any sense most of the time — But, you know —Well, come on in! :)

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“So, that’s it folks! We are all going to die in a painful and horrible way! Well, if you look at the news every night, it seems like the end of the world is near! So, you’re asking me: “What do we do now!? Please help us!” And I will tell you this: ” Who do you think I am? I don’t know! Go to work, pay your taxes and leave me alone!” LOL ;)

You can see more of Melanie Faveau designs and descriptions at supermarket.

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In the showroom: Coasters

The humble coater is my new favourite object. I’ve never been interested in coasters before but I’ve been very impressed with the laser cut designs that have been produced lately. There are some awesome coasters available in the ponoko showroom right now. Alan Chao has obviously been influenced by his graphic design background producing the Type Coasters: coasters for the typophiliac.

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Markus Long has also produced his vision of the coaster, inspired by fruit. Long says “These beautiful fruit inspired coasters come as a set of four. Inspired by orange, apple, kiwi and pineapple. You’ll enjoy the refreshing ambiance of nature in your home”.

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Both the designs are functional, beautiful and unique. The great thing about these products is that because of their size they are very affordable and are easy to ship.

More coasters here

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Inkscape tips

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Inkscape is a great tool for drawing up your design ideas so they are ready to be laser cut. It’s extra great because it is free! I’m new to inkscape so I was looking for a tutorial to get me started and found a nice one at inkscape.org. It’s got a good explanation of editing paths, subpaths and combining paths, converting to a path, Boolean operations and inset and outset amongst other things. All are very valuable tools for making your .eps files. Here’s a snippet:

With the Pen tool, each click creates a sharp node without any curve handles, so a series of clicks produces a sequence of straight line segments. Click and drag creates a smooth Bezier node with two collinear opposite handles. Press Shift while dragging out a handle to rotate only one handle and fix the other. As usual, Ctrl limits the direction of either the current line segment. read more

You can download inkscape here and templates for your ponoko designs here.

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