polyhedrica 2014 - the makers
The Polyhedrica project was led at Thor's Hammer by Thor Diesendorf, working with Enrico Taglietti on the realisation and construction detailing. Hiroshi Yamaguchi, senior craftsman at Thor's Hammer, was responsible for making the plywood base and back of the chairs. Sculptor Geoff Farquhar-Still also collaborated on the project, with his team at Artillion hand making the bases using high grade stainless steel.
Behind the clean lines of the Polyhedrica chair lie complex geometrical relationships between the angular forms of the chair and the base. The successful completion of the plywood enclosure and the stainless steel base required the collaboration between master craftspeople in wood and steel.
Multiple prototypes were produced and tested before the final limited run of five chairs was put into production.
Thor first started learning about timber as a kid, helping his engineer grandfather in his shed and passing him tools, sweeping up sawdust and holding boards steady for him. Thor's grandfather bought him hisfirst hand plane when he was 12 and he has never stopped working with timber. In the early 1990's Thor was mentored by carpenter and joiner Paul Lynzaat, making fine furniture and joinery from recycled Australian hardwoods. Seeing huge quantities of high quality timber going to landfill from demolition sites, Thor founded Thor's Hammer.
The material comes first for Thor. Wood is a beautiful and interesting material. It is incredibly strong along the grain, but not across the grain, and it expands and contracts with changes in humidity. Thor loves to work out design solutions which make best use (and sometimes push the boundaries) of the natural qualities of timber.
Thor also brings careful consideration of the ethics and sustainability of the materials and production methods to all his work.
Producing high quality furniture lies jointly in the quality of the material and skill of the craftsman working the timber.
Hiroshi Yamaguchi, senior craftsman at Thor's Hammer, learnt his woodworking skills in a small historic Japanese mountain town called Takayama. He studied at a private school called Shinrin Hakumi Jiku or Forest Craftsman School, undertaking a course of intensive study involving production of furniture for the sister company's retail outlets.
Hiroshi moved to Australia in 2012 and has been working at Thor's Hammer since he arrived. He currently is also a visiting teacher at the ANU School of Art Furniture Workshop.
GEOFF FARQUHAR-STILL - steel
Geoff is one of Australias most prolific large format public art sculptors, specialising in stainless steel. Having studied his craft at Australian National University School of Art Geoff has gone on to be featured in collections including the Australian War Memorial and John Travolta.
Geoff Farquhar-Still has a full time sculpture practice. His company Artillion produces works ranging from intricate small-scale machines to ambitious installations, large scale public art and interactive play environments. With a practice firmly rooted in hands-on making activities, Geoff combines everyday items and architectural materials to create reinterpretations of familiar objects and experiences.
Public art works by Artillion include the Canberra Centenary Column (City Hill Canberra CBD), Ginninginderry Lights (Crace ACT), Digital Reads (Discovery Point Tempe NSW) and Cumulus Aeronauticus (Scullin Shopping Centre ACT).
For examples of Geoff's work go to artillion.com.au