The first part of prototyping with blue foam was to create the correct base to fit all the pieces on [see below]
Using Copydex glue, I created the base piece, slightly larger than needed, at 1050x600x200mm.
I clamped the edges and put a heavy weight on top and let it dry for 24 hours to prevent further bowing. The next stage is to get it on the CNC Router.
As my cork was not only expensive, but in a specific supply, as well as the CNC router being a new machine to the university where its capabilities had not been tested to the full, I decided to do another prototype, this time of my final design, but out of blue prototyping foam. My chair was a mammoth job as it was very sculptural and organic, and many different factors had to be considered including the tooling and overall scale. To first manage the intricacy of the design, we designed to make this prototype to a half-size scale. This would mean less time cutting and a quicker result of the feasibility of my design. Figure 39 shows the CAD model of the 4 quarters of my chair to be cut on one piece of blue foam (1000mm x 600mm x 125mm).
Similarly to replacing the plant-based material of cork instead of sheep wool, to keep my overall piece both vegan-friendly and animal free, I wanted to find a high-quality yarn to knit with that would showcase the quality of plant alternatives. My final material was a 100% cotton yarn that had been woven to create chunky knitting material. I used a large pair of 15mm knitting to needles to help produce an appropriate scale knit with a large surface area so the audience can see the pattern. I looked at a range of different options of placement for the antimacassar that would fit my unusual, organic chair design. After exploring a variety of options, I felt a traditional placement of one large piece on the back and two on the arm rests, or ‘leg’ rests in my case, would make the most sense for my chair and would not overcomplicate the aesthetic to take away from the cork. The incorporation of the visually ‘woolen’ antimacassar directs the audience back to the focus of my installation.
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