Preparing an unbuilt chair design for construction

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SDR
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Post by SDR »

Stafford is so clearly the man for this job. Here are photos of a recently-completed chair
for the Alvin Miller residence. Did you make just one, Stafford ?



Image


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Jeff Myers
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Post by Jeff Myers »

Palmer and Mossburg have the back strut going to the ground.
Interesting that some of these chair's struts in other designs don't.
Is there some reason for this strut design?
JAT
Jeff T

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

The struts that extend to the floor were redone by Lautner. Those where the struts stop short may be unstable.

Jeff Myers
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Post by Jeff Myers »

dtc may can give us insight.
JAT
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sjnorris
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Post by sjnorris »

Thanks SDR,

I only made one chair and it was for the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy 2012 auction . As for the chair being unstable when the struts do not touch the ground, not true. Its fine, completely stable there are four legs firmly on the ground

Stafford

Jeff Myers
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Post by Jeff Myers »

I could see where the struts can stabilize the chair, I just wasn't sure to say it. I am not an expert in furniture making, even though I may build a hassock later this year.
Back to our subject.
I do find it interesting that the TaliesinIII chair can be flat or angled seat front, solid or curved arms, and angled or flat cut struts.
I guess different houses, different cuts.
JAT
Jeff T

outside in
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Post by outside in »

One small comment - your model shows a half-circle shape at the seat back, but in looking at the drawing, it appears that the shape is more of an ellipse. There may be some error due to drafting, but the half-circle doesn't seem quite right.....

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Yes, but -- can you show me an example of Wright designing an ellipse ?

This seems an easily-missed point -- especially as, when an arc or circle is rendered in perspective it of course takes an elliptical form. I believe Wright's drafters have a somewhat spotty record when it comes to drawing such ellipses. But in this case, the plan view of our chair shows what must be an arc in plan. It is carelessly drawn -- but not as unconvincingly as the curve in the drawing you refer to (see below).

I've about concluded that this drawing is the work of Lloyd Wright -- mainly because the foliage in all the ASBH drawings looks like his, and the plant material at the top center of the C3 drawing is an especially sweet example. And, as I've said, I believe the C3 drawing was hurried, as evidenced by wonky perspective work and careless inking.

(Another anomaly in the original drawing, which suggests to me that the chair was an undeveloped concept, is that the position of the rear legs is impossible if they are intended to travel all the way to the top of the chair -- as they appear from the outside to do. The problem is illustrated by the leg terminations I've added to the drawing below.)

But there's one interesting detail in this drawing that deserves mention. After constructing a (dashed) line on the floor, emanating from the left-hand vanishing point, I found that the legs of the table didn't align correctly with it (E). Looking further, the shadows thrown by the table top arrive at different altitudes on the two near-side legs (F, G) -- another anomaly. A single feature of design would neatly explain both "errors": if the legs were located at different places relative to the edge of the table top. For some reason, the table seems to have been designed to be asymmetrical; not only are the pairs of legs at different centers, but the panels between leg pairs seem to differ as well, with spindles at one end and a plain panel at the other.

What do you think ?


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outside in
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Post by outside in »

well no, I've never seen Wright do an ellipse, but then, I've never seen a Wright Chair with double-wall construction either- that's the problem when you take a chair that was designed for a marketing brochure and 100 years later attempting to make it real. The chair never had to become a shop drawing, never had to be "worked out" by Wright - seems like a small-scale Legacy design for a project that was terminated at the schematic phase.
Last edited by outside in on Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

outside in
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Post by outside in »

that being said, and knowing how board decisions have a life of their own, I would explore the idea of forming the inner circle from a cushion, rather than upholstered wood. The cushion is consistent with Wright's other designs, and will weigh much less than the boulder designed.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

I see what you're saying -- the seat would be supported by the rear legs, say, and there would be nothing but a loose pillow against the spindles, for comfort.

A member of the board has asked that we go no further in describing the process of (re)design of the chair, but let it suffice to say that it wasn't difficult to make this sketch into a Wrightian reality -- once the fact of a semicircular plan element was accepted. It sounds like you're indicating a solution somewhat like that found in the Little chair seen on the first page of the thread ? If so, what are we to make of the clear indication of patterned upholstery seen inside the chair in the drawing, and what about the flat-plate top with its circular shape, which could not by definition help but overhang the semi-octagonal row of spindles it rests upon ?

It's always of interest to see what different Wrightians will see in any individual project . . . which is perhaps the real point of this topic, strictures or not !

SDR
Last edited by SDR on Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

outside in
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Post by outside in »

I think you would end up with two cushions - a seat cushion and a long horizontal back that starts at the front right and runs all around the inside of the back to the front left - the back of the cushion would need to be shaped to fit onto the angular configuration of the spindles and would be seen through the spindles. You may need to divide the back cushion into three segments - two sides and the back. Again, I may be wrong, but I have never seen a Wright chair with both an inner and outer structure.

I would also add that I think this project is not a very good idea. Furniture fabricated from a design sketch which may or may not have been done by Lloyd? Seems like more of a fantasy to me.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

I am still wondering where the 0519.001 drawing fits into the picture. If it could be shown that this chair was drawn after the other one -- from exactly the same perspective viewpoint, as if to make it ready to "plug into" the original view ? -- then it might be an easy jump to considering it for reconstruction . . .

SDR

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

I agree with outside in: There is not enough information to build the chair that might convincingly be attributed to FLW. The process of designing and building furniture is as complicated as designing and building the structure itself, possibly more so, given the oddities of the human body that must be taken into account. I could see constructing 0519.001 as a curiosity before trying to conjure up the intention of a sketch.

Tom
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Post by Tom »

(SDR: You got me interested in pencil shopping. Ever heard of the Rotring 600 series? Wow. I want one.)

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