A designer piece is well define by its designer. A product cannot emerge out of dust… even glass needs much more than just sand to achieve its functionality. And after the designer, stands the builder. That person that takes pictures and dreams, and transforms them into reality and tangible. I have a lot of respect for this kind of people: they have a mind of their own to solve every problem that might appear during this transformation. There is a line were you need to know what you`re doing in order to deliver a made product; otherwise everything is just words and brag.
How it was born
The acrylic table was born out of necessity. It was build in a woodworking shop in brooklyn, by the custom made furniture maker Open Square Woodworking. Like they said to me:
Boyana Popvassilev, the designer of the space, contact us for quote on some wooden shelves. Then she decided she will do it with someone else. We were kind of busy at that time, so we did not paid too much attention. After a couple of days she ask us if we can build a table, inspired by the great Yves Klein pure pigment table, in 1961. Of course, the inspiration needed some transpiration. After deciding the custom made dimensions, she came with a great idea of filling the table with hand made origami cranes. Of course we said YES. The design was nice, and we love acrylic. As a bonus we ended up doing the wooden shelves as well.
I asked the builders to provide us with some pictures of the inspiration. Indeed, Yves Klein, the creator of this beautiful table, did a great job. The colors, the materials and the shape were very futuristic for their times. I could say timeless, since it still inspires nowadays designers.
Every time you build a new item, you should expect problems. At least this what the guys from Open Square Woodworking told me. Do I believe them? If I would to make an analogy with my work, I have to agree. That is why I have asked them to explain the entire process, using as much details as possible, for those who consider doing this type of work in the future.
The table was created from Clear Plexiglass (Acrylic), 1/2″ thickness. The legs were made from Stainless Steel, 1/8″ thickness, rectangle tube. The overall dimensions were 48″ x 20″ x 17″.
When working with acrylic, everything is one shoot: cutting, welding and polishing. For this project the cutting was easy, since it was a straight cut. For welding we choose to use Weld-On solvent. It dries and bonds really quickly. But you have to pay a lot of attention because it`s a solvent: which means it burns the material. And on clear plexiglass that means marks. For better welding clamps were needed to hold everything in a good grip. The best alternative to welding acrylic with solvent is to weld it by friction; but this implies different tools and different approach.
For getting crystal clear edges, a laser cut is the best. In our case we chose a small artifact: we used a regular torch, to heat the material until it become clear. But be aware: heating it too much will deform the edges and make the bond weaker.
Always keep the paper on the acrylic as much as possible. You only get a scratch once!
Very complicated, I must say. But the pictures depict it better. Don`t try at home unless you know what your doing!
After ups and downs, and a lot of research done by the team from Open Square Woodworking. Of course, without the designer Boyana Popvassilev, they wouldn`t have a project and her without them would not have a final product. Overall a great collaboration and a satisfied client for both. What I have learned from this story? Two teams of professionals had in mind one thing: the client; they collaborated, elaborated and manufactured their ideas, so the client can be a happy one. And it came out just great! For the record: they will come back with in a new post about the above mentioned shelves… so much talk. We need to see them too!
Builder: Open Square Woodworking. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interior Design by: Boyana Popvassilev