Otoko at DIFFA SF 2016

When approached with the opportunity to submit a design object for this year’s DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) fundraiser, we thought it would be the perfect occasion for creating a new set of Otoko candleholders. With the theme of “Shine” to inspire, we created a new version of the Otoko Hero finished in mirror polished chrome. And, “shine” they do!

shine and texture

Cast pewter discs provide a contrast of texture and color to the smoothly polished nickel.  Why pewter?  Branden spent a good bit of his childhood at antique flea markets perusing pewter candlestick collections.  Pewter was a common metal alloy used to make candlesticks in early America.  So, pewter brings a bit of nostalgia to this otherwise very modern candle holder.

pewter-ingotpewter ingot

   pewter-pot_horiz melting pewter for casting

discs cast from a wax moldtextured-wax-pewter_horiz

petwter-disc_patina finished patinated pewter disc

The finished Otoko Hero are part of DIFFA’s silent auction taking place on October 12th.   Place a bid for a chance to get the first set made.  Call or send us a message to order a set of our other Otoko series:  Hero-Matte, Hero–Dark Polish, Oso, Ono and Minor.

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Water Jet Cutting

We realize that we’ve been focusing alot of energy on our new furniture pieces as of late.  The architectural furnishing side of the business is feeling some neglect.  So, this is the first of a series of posts that take a look behind the scenes to see how Ba designs and fabricates… 

One of the projects we are currently working on is a new office space for John Wiley and Sons Publishing in San Francisco.  GCI contractors hired us to fabricate a series of black anodized aluminum panels to adorn the walls of the space.  These panels are defined by cutting away portions of the aluminum to form a positive/ negative vegetative pattern.  The cutouts allow light from nearby windows to fill the negative space of each panel.

To achieve a precise pattern we employed water jet cutting technology. With the use of extremely high pressure, water and garnet (an abrasive) these machines can consistently and accurately cut just about any material in a wide range of thicknesses. 

To get the job started a digital file for each panel is loaded into the computer that runs the water jet.  One at a time the 4′ x 12′ x 3/8″ thick aluminum panels are layed on the bed of the machine.  The cutting nozzle traces one edge of the panel to establish a reference for the cut.  The nozzle begins each cut by penetrating the full thickness of the material with a “pierce”.  As shown in the image below the pierce is characterized by a cloud of water vapor, aluminum dust and abrasive.  The vapor cloud is accompanied by a deafening hissing sound.    

Once the pierce has been made the noise subsides and the nozzle begins its cutting path.  The number of pierces, thickness of material, quality of cut and length of the cut path determine how long it takes to complete a project.  Some take minutes and some take hours.  

When the cutting is complete it’s time to remove the cutouts, lift the “skeleton” off the table and hose it off. 

The panels are currently being anodized and are scheduled to be installed next week.  Look for finished photos on our site in the near future.

Contact us at info@bafdf.com for information on how we can provide design and fabrication services for you.

Cheers!

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Making a Prototype

We have been working on adding coffee tables to the Snick series.  The original is a 48″ square.  The base is patinated steel and the top is made from reclaimed Douglas Fir with a char finish (blog post to come on various finishes).  We also offer this table with a glass top.  However, after studying the original base, we decided that the dimensions used for a solid wood top were not working with a glass top.  When you are designing with simple forms, proportions have to be right.  If we note that proportions aren’t right, we start making prototypes. 

Our prototype process begins by creating numerous drawings, all with subtle varitations of form and proportion.  After narrowing it down to two or three drawings, we start making full-scale physical mock-ups.  The mock-ups are essential to selecting the final dimensions.  With the Snick series, we found that our intuition was right–the table base needed a bit more visual weight when paired with a glass top.   

Having found our golden proportions we recently finished the glass-top Snick: Rectangle.  It can be seen at the new Modern-Twist office/ showroom in Emeryville.  Photos will be online soon.  

Also, check back soon to see our new dining table that combines variations of a Snick base and a PALLETform top.

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