Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Don't Sweat the Technique

My bud Ronan helped me out for a while today on some drawers that will go in an armoire I'm making for Imelda and Francesca. He busted out a clamp-free method of laying up the drawers that is so ingeniously simple it made me feel like I overcomplicate everything I do to the point of chaotic pandaemonium. These are the breaks:

First, you need to precisely cut all your drawer sides and bottoms with mitred corners, and the bottom needs to be grooved in there. Then you get all your sticks organized on a flat table alongside some glue and packing tape.

Then you line up your sides, edge to edge. Make sure they are groove side down, not like in the photo.

Here is the rad part: you simply tape each edge together, tight.

Then you flip the whole strip over, notch side up, and ease a noodle of glue down the bottom of your little mitre valleys.

Roll all the sides up and tape the final joint...

Slide the drawer bottom into the groove to keep it all square...

And finally, stack up all your perfect, taped-up drawers and let the glue dry over night.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Where I Get My Craft On

UFACTO is the name of the furniture studio where I work in Paris. Architectural models, prototypes, sculptural things I'm still trying to figure out, and furniture, of course, are all part of the daily work flow. Many designers, mostly French ones, have their things made here. The pieces are one-of-a-kind or small-edition only, usually no more than 12. Big, famous, celeb designers who have contracts with gigantic, fancy pants manufacturers like Vitra, Cassina, Kartell, and Ligne Roset, often have their gallery pieces and prototypes made at UFACTO. Even though much of the workshop's output has an industrial feel, it is truly an artisan establishment. There are usually no more than 10 people working in the shop at any given time. David Toppani, the owner, master craftsman, and fabrication genius, is a very nice and quietly great man. So nice, in fact, that he let's me use the studio and all of it's fantastic tools to work on my own projects.

Here, working on a coffee table designed by Mattias Bonetti, is the man himself, David Toppani. He is really into traditional Blues and Native American culture. His motto is "anything is possible", but in French. Anything, that is, except wearing non-denim clothes.

These mini-bars were for Ricard, obviously. Toppani prototypes a lot of bar glasses for them, as well as for Perrier and Courvassier. He carves the glasses out of plexiglass, from which the actual glass factory molds are made. The dude in this photo is Morgan, a talented airbrush painter. He is really into Radiohead.

This glacier-looking coffee table was designed by my friend Erwan. It's design was actually inspired by the rice paddies of Thailand, not glaciers. Erwan was the one who originally referred me to UFACTO, thus changing my life.

Erwan also designed this lamp, or, part-of-lamp. Karl Lagerfeld may or may not have purchased one of these for 40,000 euros.

I don't know who designed this mushroom stool, nor is it my favorite thing in the world (though it is very comfy for sittin' on). But I like the light in this photo; it says to me, " this is a pleasant work environment". And it is.