Collect 2019 – Who said that craft is exclusively about traditional techniques? British designer Gareth Neal developed his green-oak carved Hack Chair II using a 6 axis computer numerical control robotic arm, and then finished it by hand, and scorched it according to Japanese techniques. The design was presented by Sarah Myerscough Gallery at the Collect International Fair for Art, Design and Contemporary Craft.
- RELATED STORIES: discover more eclectic craft on Archipanic…
“I think one of my missions in furniture is to explore how these new technologies are perceived and how craft is also inherent in their applications.” Explains Gareth Neal. “It’s about the maker’s mark and about the relationship of digital to handmade.”
“We often don’t really understand how objects are made when they’re mass produced, but all those processes are open to a craftsman or designer. [For the Hack Chair II] I needed to reference the hand and the process in order to have a relationship with it.”
Indeed, as an extension of the craftsman’s hand and tactile knowledge, the robotic 6 axis CNC arm was programmed to hack into a block of wood. The designer then hand-carved the Hack Chair II navigating the glitches, fractures, and rings of time naturally found within the wood.
The seat reinterprets a Georgian archetype of furniture in the decoratively curved backrest, contrasting strikingly with the stark block shape of the seat. The shape is repeated three times, in a rippling effect, fanning out horizontally from the centre – a new interpretation of the vertical repetitions in the previous iteration of the chair.
The piece has then been charred according to the yakisugi Japanese technique, giving it a deep black colour and preserving the wood. “Like a glitch of history, Hack Chair II challenges the technique, the future and the past.” Explains Neal.
Photos: courtesy of Sarah Myerscough Gallery and Collect.
- RELATED STORIES: read more about Collect 2019 on Archipanic…