Carol O’Callaghan visits an exhibition committed to plywood – an generally disregarded actual which has now captured the imagaination of architects and designers with its acceptable on-going value.
Plywood – it’s had a bad rap, hasn’t it? In fact, appearance in accepted has become a debasing term. Just anticipate about the announcement ‘a appearance of respectability’, implying the adverse is true.
Christopher Wilk, Keeper of Furniture, Textiles and Fashion at London’s V&A Building is a man who knows a affair or two about the material, which led him to co-curate an exhibition on the accountable alleged Plywood: Actual of the Avant-garde World, active now at the building until November 12.
“I aboriginal proposed the abstraction of accomplishing an exhibition on plywood about 20 years ago,” says Wilk. “It took a while for the apple to bolt up with me.”
Tea chests fabricated from Indian plywood with absorbed metal edges were acclimated to carriage tea to Britian, New Zealand and Australia, and afterwards repurposed for non-food use.
But bristles years ago he got the go-ahead, and he readily admits that what the appearance is now is actual altered to what he had aboriginal envisaged, accompanied by a book he’s bound which capacity the all-encompassing analysis he undertook to break the material’s history.
Probably one of the best amazing things about the exhibition is that plywood is not the almost contempo development as we ability accept imagined, but a address acclimated by the age-old Egyptians who additionally formed with attenuate slices of wood.
This history and the assorted applications of plywood, informs the exhibition, including the aeon back it was at the acme of its acceptance as a adorning art during the Rococo aeon of the 18th century.
Not unexpectedly, Wilk drew on the collections of museums and clandestine collectors internationally to anatomy the exhibition.
New York’s Building of Avant-garde Art and Washington DC’s Smithsonian Institute offered up patents of 19th aeon chairs, from a time back appointment affairs to the United States Patent and Trademark Office was not enough; calibration models additionally had to be included, but no bigger than 12 inches.
The DCM armchair advised by Charles and Ray Eames was bogus by the Evans Products Company about 1947 in moulded plywood, animate and rubber.
Another display is a Victorian Rococo awakening chair, fabricated by an emigree to America, and alongside it is a replica fabricated by the V&A of the chair’s aboriginal mould.
It’s some way from the canicule of high-quality, French veneered appliance which was abundantly the bottle of the French cloister due to its expense.
Later abstruse developments led to a about-face in the trend and saw the material’s acceptability decline.
The GJ armchair by Danish artist Grete Jalk was fabricated in 1963, acknowledgment to developments in plywood accomplish which facilitated moulded shapes.
Other surprises are Wilk’s apprehension of advice acceptable to about-face on its arch the appearance of plywood as artlessly alert veneered board, acknowledgment to ground-breaking assignment in moulded plywood for appliance afterwards 1850. This included the development of beef powered saws to cut copse added agilely and quickly, and additionally led to it acceptable a bargain under-rated actual fabricated by artisan workers.
But it took until the aftermost aeon for its versatility to be exploited to the fullest. Surprisingly, the de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito aeroplane was fabricated of plywood, enabling it to fly college than any added even during Apple War 11: A Mosquito assembly appears in the exhibition.
“Perception afflicted with its wartime success,” Wilk explains. “During WW11 plywood acquired in acceptability afresh as the actual that fabricated landing ability as able-bodied as the Mosquito plane. I absolutely couldn’t acquaint the adventure of plywood and its across from our own collections at the V&A after airplanes, boats and surfboards to annular out the abounding story.”
The post-war aeon brought added accession back Americans,Ray and Charles Eames adopted the material, forth with the Finnish artist and artist Alvar Aalto and the Hungarian-born Bauhaus artist Marcel Bruer – appliance it for appliance authoritative back actual was scarce.
“We accept the Eames’ DCM armchair in the exhibition which was fabricated of plywood,” Wilk says.
“It was the best apish of all chairs during the additional bisected of the 20th century. Chairs which came out of British, Italian and Scandinavian architecture were all afflicted by it.”
Also featured in the exhibition is a area on DIY plywood, including instructions printed in a annual during the Cold War aeon on how to body your own plywood nuclear shelter.
New and added contempo applications, with access to the agenda age, acquiesce abode builders to download affairs from anywhere in the apple and again accept the abode congenital in their country of agent so there are no aircraft costs for materials, enabling a bargain carbon brand to advice sustainability credentials.
“People accept looked at me with a bare beam back I’ve said I’m accomplishing an exhibition on plywood,” says Wilks. “I appetite bodies to say “I didn’t apperceive that” and accept a lot of ’believe it or not’ moments back they see it.”
It seems acceptable they will.
Plywood: Actual of the Avant-garde Apple will run amid 15th July and 12th November 2017 at the V&A, London.
Tucked abroad in Fethard-on-Sea, Co Wexford is the branch of appliance artist and maker Shane Tubrid.
A alum of the National Centre for Excellence in Appliance Architecture and Technology at Letterfrack, Co Galway, best of his assignment is bespoke, from sideboards and consoles, to coffee and dining tables.
One accurate piece, notable for its architecture ingenuity, is the red oak annular dining table which extends from a six-seater to 12-seater, not, however, with the archetypal admit but by the accession of a rim absolute eight abstracted apparatus which can be stored abroad in a analogous cafe back not in use.
All his pieces are accessible to added development to clothing the needs of his clients.
Prices on appliance at www.shanetubridfurniture.ie.
* Annular extendable dining table in American red oak by the flat of Shane Tubrid. POA
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved
Five Advice That You Must Listen Before Embarking On Plywood Coffee Table Plans – Plywood Coffee Table Plans
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