lost and found
urniture maker Neil Robinson is more likely to be found rummaging around in skips or trawling rubbish dumps than he is eyeing up lumps of wood in the local timber merchants. His exquisite furniture is mostly made from found objects that he works into beautifully ﬁnished pieces.
Craft meets invention in lamps made out of discarded batteries. bowling balls or even the end of a French horn! ‘l’m interested in highlighting the qualities of found objects rather than using off-the-shelf plywood. In a way. 1 cheat because these objects suggest their use . . . they almost tell me what they want to be so 1 never have to force an idea.’ he says. This may sound effortless but you only have to see Robinson’s work to know that a lot of time and thought has gone into every piece.
Having worked with Tim Stead. one of Europe’s finest furniture makers. for the last two years. Robinson admits that time spent working with Stead in his Borders workshop has strongly inﬂuenced his shaping and wood-working ideas. His passion for the natural shapes and qualities of wood are nowhere more evident than in his back-bone chair. the piece de résistance of his show. Giant moulded vertebrae shapes make up the chair back which moves according to preference. ‘1 like the idea of integration between each piece of furniture that 1 make and the person who is using it.‘ he says. ‘The chair demands that you get involved. that you can change the shape of it and affect the way it functions.’
Participation is required in almost all of Robinson’s pieces: a heavy stone and glass table has six possible alignments to choose from (the concrete blocks that make the table legs were rescued from a disused Victorian railway in London). Visitors to his show are also invited to
rummage around in boxes full of found objects that Robinson has crafted into intricate fetish- like objects. His notebooks, crammed full of fascinating sketches and scribbles for various ideas and projects. are small treasures in themselves. (Lila Rawlings)
mellali Gonzalez Konig likes words. She likes to play with them, take them out of context and use them as an integral part of her furniture design. Born and raised in Mexico. where she originally studied graphic design. she became fascinated both by the decorative qualities of words and by the idea of putting them onto everyday objects in a way that would get people thinking. ‘It really came from an old book 1 found full of Russian text. I couldn’t understand the words but thought that they were very beautiful. Then I started to think how interesting it would be to have an object in your home that could ‘tell’ you something.’ This meant she had to learn her furniture-making skills at lightning speed over a period of nine months. The five wooden cabinets that make up part of her show are beautifully crafted pieces. each decorated with a different finish from cobalt blue pigment to delicately worked gold leaf. Should you choose to invest in one of these stylish objects. you can choose from an extract from a TS. Eliot poem or a pithy one-liner from Dorothy Parker. guaranteed to make you smile as you reach for the toothpaste. In three cleverly designed wall lights. Gonzalez plays with the idea of illumination so that images appear on the surface of the ‘lamp-shade’ as if projected onto a movie screen when the light is switched on. On one, a Medici angel evokes the rich colours of stained glass while next to it. a film still from Wings of Desire reinforces the cinematic reference. Most of all, Gonzalez’s work is about play and illusion. It’s light and whimsical and reminds us that grown-ups like to play too. (Lila Rawlings)
DEGREE SHOWS FEATURE
on need a big personality to wear Lynne Brown’s jewellery. It’s large. sculptural and definitely not for shrinking violets who think a necklace should be small. dainty and pretty. ‘1 do wear my own stuff and I’ve had some strange looks.’ admits Lynne.
Lynne is refreshingly eclectic about the materials she uses preferring string. paper. wire and burnt wood to the more traditional materials of gold and silver.
Lynne’s original inspiration for her large string necklaces came from an unlikely source. a hardware shop. Using yards of ordinary household string Lynne spent months in front of the television knitting. knotting and weaving tubes and sausage shapes composed of hundreds of cotton worms. each hand-made to a certain length. The string retains its natural colour but Lynne’s creations transform an ordinary domestic material into a high fashion statement. ‘l’ve been knitting and crocheting since 1 was a child but it didn’t come into rnyjewellery till last year. I borrowed a book from the library with a step by step guide to yacht knot technique and 1 also looked at African basket weaving methods.’
Lynne’s metal pieces follow on from her string work and are more obviously jewel-like. Using silver. perspex and tiny metal tubes she’s made luxurious looking brooches and necklaces out of little silver worms that wriggle and squiggle like fresh pasta being forced out of a grinder. The element of movement is important to Lynne and a strong connecting link in her work. ‘The pieces move with the wearer and people tend to fiddle with them because they’re so tactile.’ she
says with pleasure. A 1 t h o u g h
Lynne knows she will have to compromise , . her natural inclination for mixed media with the more commercial precious metals if she is to make a living. she is optimistic about the future. ‘My work is very theatrical and it’s been classed as fashion jewellery. not everyday wear,’ she says. ‘But I think the continent is leading the way. I recently went to a trade fair in Germany and all the guys were wearing brooches. pins and rings and it wasn’t thought at all outrageous.‘ (Gill Roth)
College of Buildlng and Printing 0141 332 9969. Photography degree show: on display now at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall until mid July.
Duncan and Jordanstone College of Art 01382 223261. Degree show: Sat 24—Fn'day 30 June, Mon —Fn' 9am—8.30pm; Sat 9am—4.30pm; closed Sun. Edlnburgh College of Art 0131 221 6000. Degree show: Sat l7—Mon 26 June, Mon-Thurs
lOam—Spm; Fri—Sun 10am-5pm. The work of Film/TV and Animation students will be shown in the College during the degree show and at Edinburgh Filmhouse on Wed 21 June at 8pm and Thur 22 at 6pm.
Glasgow College of Art 0141 353 4500. Degree show: Sat 24—Fn' 30 June. Mon—Fri 9am—9pm; Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 9am—4pm.
Napler University 0131 455 2604. Photography. Film and TV degree show: Sat 24—Friday 30 June, 10am—4pm; not Sun.
The List 16-29 Jun 1995 19