Origami Chair

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SDR
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Post by SDR »

Well, you learned something from that: the chair was no doubt always painted -- or else the arms were fully upholstered. This is clear from the visual grade of the veneer, there, and the exposure of edge grain at the juncture of side and arm (at least). But a very nice version of the form, in my opinion. Do you know the story of this chair ?

I'm sure it will be lovely when finshed. (If you're fixed on having a natural wood appearance, this chair could be veneered far more efficiently than almost any chair I've seen.)

SDR

pepsigns
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Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 2:23 pm

Post by pepsigns »

Hi,
I like the idea of veneer. I had not considered that. I also suspect that the chair was always painted. I was told from the person I bought it from that they purchased it a few years ago from Rago. That is about all I know. I really like the back and the potential to form the back cushions in the same V V shape.
Thanks

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

I don't share Wright's reputed prejudice against paint. A lovely object like this chair can be at its best in a solid opaque color. I don't see an example with the arms upholstered. . .

I can't "read" the stick (?) at the far rear in the side photo -- is it parallel with the floor or is it vertical ?

The V shape of the seat is interesting -- I'm trying to imagine how one sits in this chair. Is the rear slope of the seat actually a lumbar support ?

If it was sold in a David Rago auction, there should be a record of it there. If you sent them a photo of the chair as you bought it, they should recognize it, and tell you what they know of its history.

SDR

jlesshafft
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 2:56 pm

Post by jlesshafft »

The more I look at this chair, the more I think it's not original.

1. The front things that stick out from the seat area are all wrong
2. The front "legs" are not right
3. There's some sort of strange piece of wood on the rear
4. The lack of hiding joints with veneer, cheap plywood etc

It just looks a little weird.

pepsigns
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 2:23 pm

Post by pepsigns »

Hi,
We are not trying to determine if it is original. We are trying to determine the best way to finish and upholster.

The back spine is vertical It is closer to the end of the foot than others as a result of the back being pushed to the rear in the V.

I am not worried about the weirdness! I think the unique V back is a great interpretation.

The back is sloped to the foot so it does sort of serve as a lumbar support.
Thanks

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Fair enough. But you can't blame us for arguing among ourselves about its possible origin. :wink: I for one like the V-shaped back.

Hope it comes out great. SDR

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »

Going through the David A. Hanks "Domino's Pizza Collection" book (pg 108-109) I saw this picture of what is called a "prototype" Origami chair which they state was designed for Taliesin West's Living Room. They mention it having a blueprint date of 1946.

Image


This piece also appears to be the same one that SDR posted on the first page of this thread, labed "Undated Origami (Balthazar Korab photo, "50 Favorite Furnishings by FLlW," Diane Maddex, Archetype, 1999)". If you look at the right arm of the chair in each photo, the same "ding/mark" appears near the front outside corner (though in trying to make an exact visual match, it's tough to see the protective 'front feet coverings' in the Korab photo that are obvious in the above Hanks photo).



In looking at the Thomas Heinz book, "Frank Lloyd Wright: Interiors and Furniture" (pg 199), he shows a photo of an Origami Chair at the Sturgess House (1939) and states that "(t)his appears to be the earliest of the 'folded' plywood chairs.".

Image



In the same book Heinz also shows a pair of Origami Chairs with fretwork cut-out designs from Taliesen III (WI) in which he states, "(t)hese are the more elegant developments of the ones built for the Sturgess House (3905). The cut outs in the rear web and the ends of the arm are carry-overs of the cut fretwork grilles used on the windows of many of the Usonian Houses.".

Image

He's implying, therefore, that these are later-in-date, more refined Origami Chair designs than Sturgess (1939). Yet the first picture that SDR posted shows the same 'fretwork-style' Origami Chairs (with differing fabric; Taliesin West) and Diane Maddex stating they are dated 1937.



So it appears there are three 'earliest' dates: fretwork, Taliesin West - 1937; Sturgess - 1939; prototype, Taliesin West - 1946.



Has anyone made a definative heads-or-tails of this Origami conundrum???



David


SDR - Stephen, thank you for your inspiration via all the wonderful pictures and source material you post, as well as the lessons on how to do so. I've become inspired to 'give it a whirl'!


edit=moved picture files
Last edited by DavidC on Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Well done !

I don't see the point of discussing art and design without the necessary visual references. I'm certainly enjoying my part in the process. I'll keep going 'til I run out of room in my iPhoto cache -- AT&T seems to have no storage limit in their (my) Small Business Web Hosting facility.

Welcome to the party! As to the kinds of questions you raise above, I believe there are plenty more where that came from. Let's keep digging. . .


SDR

DavidC
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Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Post by DavidC »

Bringing back the Origami Chair thread post-outage.


David

Rood
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Post by Rood »

DavidC wrote:Bringing back the Origami Chair thread post-outage. David
Yeah, thanks. The first photo posted by SDR ... the B & W ... is the chair I found in my room at Hillside, during my first full summer at Taliesin ... 1967.

It was still upholstered as shown in the photo, though by then the cloth had become completely threadbare, so I went to Spring Green and found (barely enough) cloth of somewhat similar design to re-upholster the chair. As a friend was coming the next day, I worked at that task through the night, getting only about two hours sleep before the Breakfast Gong sounded.

I loved that chair, despite the fact that if you weren't careful, it would tip over on top of you, whenever you tried to stand up.

Mr. Wright later attached a small, triangular wooden "kick stand" to later versions of the chair, to prevent guests unaware of the danger from being hurt.

The next year, when I was moved to a room at Taliesin, the chair went with me. If I'm correct, it's now in a museum setting, somewhere. At JWax?

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Aha. Now I see the "kickstand," on two of the chairs on the previous page. Now that I know what it is, its ad-hoc nature comes clear. I can't actually recall seeing that on too many chairs, come to think of it.

There should be at least one other Origami chair thread, I think.

SDR

capie
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Post by capie »


Lillipie81
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Location: New Zealand

Post by Lillipie81 »

Whatever happened to the chair? I'd love to see the end product.

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