Friday, May 14, 2010

The Creativity and Whimsy of Max Lamb

British contemporary furniture designer Max Lamb brings the essence of the outdoors to American turf with his solo show in New York City. Sturdy and rigid, Lamb's work has a primal, natural and organic feel.

Several of his newly commissioned pieces are made with Delaware bluestone, the blue sediment stone used in New York sidewalks which are sourced from the Catskill Delta. He traveled north to collect the stone and by using a combination of hand carving techniques and machine cutting he was able to create this latest collection of chairs, tables, benches and stools. He also incorporates limestone, pewter, bronze, copper and wool felt into the work. The table set appears as a rock garden extracted and sculpted, and benches are chiseled into symmetrical form that emit a sense of permanence and  exhibit at the Johnson Trading Galleryrawness.

Lamb's ascent in the industrial design world has been rapid. He received the 2003 Peter Walker Award for Innovation in Furniture Design and a 2004 Hettich International Design Award. He worked with Tom Dixon and Ou Baholyodhin Studio before launching his own design studio in 2007. Lamb's past work with limestone and sandstone won praise at Design Miami / Basel where he was awarded the 2008 Designer of the Future Award.

Pieces from this accompanying exhibit, "Solids of Revolution," will be shown at the New York gallery space along with a retrospective of his work including large, hand carved Polystyrene Dining Table and eight Poly Chairs, White Bronze Poly Chairs and a Nano-crystalline Copper Stool. Also, an accompanying film series explores his design philosophy and distinct process.

The latest work of british industrial designer max lamb is being presented at commissioned, an exhibition currently happening during milan design week 2010. amongst his pieces is 'scrap poly furniture' whereby a process of destruction is used to create a chair, stool and bench. Here a variety of simple tools are used to make the furniture manually. The piece are carved and the soft tactile polyurethane rubber finish is applied on top.

Lamb's collection of copper dinnerware and furniture is born from his fascination with
creating hollow copper structures. The series began as he sculpted a chair by hand in hard modeling wax that softens as it warms up. The model was then covered with a conductive silver spray followed by a process whereby he bathed the piece in a container of aqueous copper. Once immersed in the welter, the nanocrystalline particles acquired a thin film of pure copper around the wax core, which was eventually melted away in low wax casting. The result was a hollow design that was lightweight yet strong. Taking from that experience, the same physical process is translated to the rest of his copper collection.

With the Poly Chair, a process of destruction is used to construct a bombproof chair. A variety of simple tools and a reasonable amount of energy is all that is required. By making furniture by hand the unique is achieved and individual beauty inevitable. The chair takes less than 30 minutes to carve and the soft tactile polyurethane rubber finish takes only 10 minutes to apply. The chair is ready to sit on just 40 minutes from start of production.

Inspired by a childhood spent on the beaches of Cornwall building castles, boats and tunnels in the sand, Max decided to return to his favourite beach at Caerhays on the South coast of Cornwall. It is here that he went to produce a stool using a primitive form of sand-casting. Molten pewter was poured into a sand mould sculpted directly into the beach by hand, and once cooled the sand was dug away to reveal a pewter stool.


The Steel Sheet Chair is another one of Max's creations. Here, the net of a chair is nitrogen-assisted laser-cut in 0.9mm stainless steel, folded by hand and secured with double sided VHB foam tape, combining a computer controlled industrial process with hand assembly. Use of pre-finished stainless steel means the chair requires no post-finishing.

Other works by Max Lamb...

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