For immediate release: 2 August 2012
Andrew Lane designs the Eisteddfod Chair 2012.
Andrew Lane, the Monmouth based furniture designer, has designed the Eisteddfod Chair for 2012. This special commission was to create the official chair, awarded as the poetry prize for the winning Bard at The National Eisteddfod of Wales 2012.
The festival committee cited that Andrew’s ideas for his design fitted the ethos of the festival and that his previous work demonstrated that he would bring a fresh perspective to the design of the Chair.
The commission was a fantastic opportunity to explore ideas and techniques around this year’s festival theme of The Flow of the Tide. The chair was designed over a three month period during which Andrew decided to approach its design in a similar way to that of writing a poem. Just as a poet seeks to make connections between words and phrases and in so doing creating different meanings and overall effect, so Andrew planned the components of the chair would combine to form a piece of unique furniture. By rooting the form of the chair within the process and context of a poem, the piece is inspired by and, in turn, has become an inspiration for, the Eisteddfod tradition it helps to celebrate.
The theme, The Flow of the Tides, sits very well with ideas that Andrew Lane has been developing over many years to do with linear, structural and aesthetic design. Ideas that manipulate wood to create both a literal and structural line through a piece of furniture, a “flow” that holds a design together. As Andrew puts it:
“It is important, especially in chair design, to have a component that is linking and doing more than one job. A leg that can turn into an arm that can turn into a back is one component that is visually running through the piece and becoming a connecting element of the whole design.”
For the Eisteddfod Chair, the flow starts from the floor, comes up through the leg, continues through the arm and up into the back. By twisting and bending the wood into shape using steaming and laminating techniques, it makes a very slender, lightweight but strong piece of furniture.
Steaming wood results in it setting much harder than when in its natural state. Therefore Andrew has spent a number of years perfecting this technique to ensure that when strips of steam-bent wood are glued to form a laminate the glue line isn’t visible. This creates much more visually appealing furniture, where the shape and movement through these components appears effortless and graceful. The added benefits of furniture made in this way are its strength and weight. Whereas solid wood retains natural strength, it can be heavy. Laminates use less wood so are much lighter, while maintaining a physical strength that belies their appearance.
Notes for Editors
The Eisteddfod Chair is made from White Ash and measures 550 x 550 x 1700mm.
The National Eisteddfod of Wales runs from 4-11 August 2012 in the Vale of Glamorgan (http://www.eisteddfod.org.uk/english/).
Andrew Lane is available for interviews and/or photo opportunities during the run-up to the festival and with the chair during the festival, at times to be specified.
Print and web-ready images are available from the links below.
“The 2012 Eisteddfod Chair” (below) is a short film about the making of the Chair. It is embedded below and also viewable at www.andrewlanefurniture.co.uk/eisteddfod-film/ and downloadable on Vimeo.
Andrew Lane will be appearing in ITV Wales’s “Eisteddfod 2012” programme on Thursday 9th August 2012.
Andrew Lane – mobile: 07981 319618 or workshop: 01600 750599
Please email via our contact page.
These photographs by Nick Treharne can be used but please include a credit.
Download the complete set at high resolution, or individually by clicking the thumbnails below and right-clicking the image this will display.