|Project by Byron||posted 06-02-2012 04:55 PM||5006 views||42 times favorited||37 comments|
Sapele Dining Chair is an attempt to approach seating in a different way. To do this I searched for a design that would leave a cantilevered space underneath the back of the seat. As this is a dining chair the main view will be the back of the chair pushed underneath a table, lending itself to this focus.
The material I work with is very important to my design. Wood is a very warm material both visually and tactilely, and has an inherent beauty on its own. This led me to the challenge of making an all wooden seating surface and back support. Another challenge rose up from this, how to connect the back and seat while keeping the negative space in the back. The solution was a technical challenge I had been interested in approaching from the beginning, dovetails along two curved planes. The compound curves make the connection incredibly strong, not even requiring glue to be supportive (they are glued now). I was able to fabricate the entire chair from one piece of wood and match the seat to the back as it grew naturally.
Growing up in an Italian family we would talk during dinner for hours, resulting in the conversation ending or relocating due to family back problems. Comfort is inherently important for a chair, but the notion of good posture and my family’s dinner dilemma stuck in the back of my mind during the shaping process. The seat and back are shaped completely by hand as are the legs and rails. The chair is very comfortable with a strong lumbar and encourages proper posture.
Sapele Dining Chair is finished with many hand rubbed coats of Bartley’s Gel Varnish.
-- Byron Conn, Woodworking/Furniture Design at Rochester Institute of Technology, http://byronconn.com