What happens when natural materials are melded with complicated form? Fiction.
The Fiction lounge chair features delicate, sculpted walnut arms that flow into a blackened steel base. Fiction’s arms are tied together with a molded plywood shell and draped with a white leather seat.
Alyssa Coletti worked on Fiction’s design for a number of years, contemplating multiple materials and methods, before making Fiction a reality. After being told many times by many individuals that the chair could not be made or that it would be too expensive to prototype, Coletti enrolled in woodworking classes with local craftsmen and over the course of a year created the chair prototype from scratch.
“Initially, I began with the desire to make a sturdy organic form from solid wood. I then translated this idea into a profile sketch. Next, I used 3-D modeling software to try many variations of the arm cross-section and overall shape, bases, and variations of the overall form. Eventually, I knew that I needed to prototype the chair. Having the chair made by a professional woodworker was just cost prohibitive, so I enrolled in woodworking classes taught by local craftsmen and started building the chair. Expert woodworkers provided me with guidance throughout the prototype fabrication, ensuring that the chair would be sturdy and functional. Over the course of a year, I learned many woodworking methods, how to use various tools and work with several different materials.”
To develop the sculptured appearance of the arms, while adding strength, Coletti constructed the chair’s arms by sawing lumber into thin strips, stacking the strips cross-grain, and laminating the resulting material into blocks for machining. Once machined, the arms were painstakingly refined and the subtleties of the form were made evident. The crossed wood grain gives the arms strength and results in the visible arm striping.
The prototype chair-shell was created from skateboard deck veneer and walnut veneer using a vacuum-molding technique. The base is blackened steel – a material formed with little environmental impact.
Coletti is currently looking for a manufacturing partner to bring Fiction to market.
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