2015 // Live edge California claro walnut, elm.
The Divisadero Chair uses powerful fabrication technology to be more sensitive to the natural and lasting beauty of organic material. At the heart of this project was 40” of a live-edge slab of claro walnut that I wanted to use entirely. By using 3D scanning and complex computer machining (CNC) I was able to preserve the vitality of the organic edge of the tree in the chair.
The chair is in a private collection, but there is a two-of-a-kind pair of Divisadero-style Diana Stools available for purchase. Please inquire by email.
I designed the chair around the 12/4 slab I had on hand – drafting a design then marking it out on the slab in chalk before finalizing dimensions in Fusion 360. Traditionally, the first step in making furniture would be to mill clean, rectangular boards from the rough, organic slab. But instead of cutting off and trashing the tricky, organic live edge, I preserved it with 3D capturing, which allowed me to model it, lightly machine it, and match that with a Boolean shape (it’s perfect opposite) created in Autodesk Inventor. By using live 5-axis machining, I was preserved the beauty and integrity of the live edge, laminating it’s complex contour to another piece – and in the process, saving the material that would have been wasted otherwise. The process is the visual centerpiece of the finished chair.
The Divisadero process represents a new line of inquiry into the future of digital fabrication. Rather than searching for how we can make more exotic or complex forms, instead the focus is on using smarter tools to start with more complicated shapes, remove less material, and expose natural beauty that in the past was simply removed for the sake of accuracy.