Friday, 29 October 2010

Day 303, on which John takes more photos, and yes - I'm aware there are very few people who care any more [29.10.10]

Dag tre hundrede og tre. Woah, I keep accidentally writing 'to hundrede' instead of 'tre hundrede' - ah well, I guess I have 65 more days to get used to the proper way of saying it. In other news, I got my BrickLink order today! Starring: a buttload of Maersk blue (very cheap for its kind), dark bley tiles and grey plates. Not very exciting, I'll admit, but it's a welcome boot to my collection. The Maersk blue stuff particularly are useful for an upcoming MOC of mine. I drained Simply Bricks of all their 1x4 tiles, haha!

I know you're fed up of my photos, but my dad got out his backdrop for the first time in years today and I couldn't resist taking as many photos as I could. Sure, there are a bunch with my sister in that I could show you, but that'd be odd and I know secretly that you'd prefer to see chairs than my sister. Plus, it'd be more legal.

First off, the Panton chair. My Panton chair. Beautiful red curves, a striking profile (as you can see here) and rather elegant. So like me, only my curves aren't red and they aren't really all that curvy. Dang, this is starting to sound odd. Let's move on.

What I love about the Panton chair is that it can look pretty round and fat from the front, but as soon as you turn it side-on it blows you away with a brilliant profile. The dress-like billowing base, the organic shapes of the seat, and the tongue-like backrest become very refined and bold. I think this change is because it's very wide to accomodate fat people, but you can't see this wideness from the side.

I wanted to show the Panton chair seat really floating in this photo - I took some portraits of my sister sitting in it and framing it like this, too, where the cantilevered design can really show off, and no base is visible. Also, I like the framing of this. Soft lighting thanks to my dad and some badass studio lights that've been hiding in our attic for years.

Obligatory rear end shot, complete with spiffy dramatic lighting. Well, I like it. There's a reflector just to the right of the chair which lights up the back of the backrest, which I think adds a nice highlight to the photo. Maybe a little too bright, though...

Another ass shot. From above this time. Om nom nom, I could just drool all over this thing.

My chair was signed by Verner Panton himself. Though somehow he's managed to sign it in extruded plastic, almost industrially. You don't think... that he didn't sign it himself? Is someone at Vitra signing it with a machine? Such outrage has never been encountered before on this blog!

Har de har har, I'm just joking. In actual fact I find the signature really annoying, ruining the shape. Sure, you can't see it from far off, but it ruins it close up. That's one of two perspectives ruined.

And now from the clean modern forms of the Panton chair to a totally different type of furniture, namely the No. 14 chair from Michael Thonet that I've mentioned here several times. It's just verging on old-fashioned style, but because it has an industrial significance it has some sort of function and so it's in my good books. Remember, it was the first popular and efficient steam-bent wooden chair? The most mass-produced one, too. This isn't fancy Victorian stuff, this is functional. 50 of these, disassembled, can fit in a one-metre-cube space. It's no wonder the king of functionalism, Dieter Rams, has a bunch in his house.

So yeah my parents somehow have one - from my grandparents I think - and it's in pretty bad shape. Great to photograph. It's rather beat up, a real contrast to the Panton chair, but in fact they have something in common: they both featured pioneering industrial processes for the time. The Panton chair was the first one-piece plastic chair (years were spent developing it) and No. 14 was the first steam-bent chair to be mass-produced (beforehand chairs had been glue-bent). So maybe they're not so different after all.


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