Molded Plywood

Simply Bent. Cowrie from Made in Ratio.

Since I was a kid, I have always been fascinated with furniture made from bent plywood. I think it comes from the fact that my grade school had so many Eames molded plywood chairs through out the building. Yes back in the day, before they became a coveted purchase from Design Within Reach, the Eames chair was pretty utilitarian. Beautiful, but affordable and utilitarian. This morning I was checking email, and a friend of mine had sent me a link to the “Cowrie Chair” designed by Brodie Neil, and built by Made in Ratio.

This stunning piece of furniture was inspired by the concave lines of sea shells, and requires an innovative process to build. A process that is a blend of digital technology, and handmade processes. The end result is a continuous flowing form from a single surface of Ash plywood. The chair is deceivingly simple and elegant with a feeling of pleasant continuity from the geometry of form.

Is it to late to add this to my Christmas wish list?

20131224-101240.jpg

20131224-101249.jpg

20131224-101257.jpg

Dexter Work Sled from Stéphan Angoulvant.

I don’t do any work on my MINI. The car is still under warranty and frankly it sits so low to the ground it’s impossible to get under without a lift. If I did have an older car that had adequate ground clearance, I’d be tempted to buy this creeper so I could access the underside of my car a bit easier.

If you have ever tried a creeper you know that it’s far from a perfect solution, but designer Stéphan Angoulvant came up with a solution to improve upon the standard issue tool from AC Delco creating a well designed solution for casual users and auto enthusiasts alike. Angoulvant got so frustrated with the cheap commonly used creeper he owned that he set out to design a better solution.

“The thought process that brought the Dexter Work Sled to fruition pondered how to develop an emotional tie (other than anger and frustration) to our creepers. From there, the “what ifs” included a wearable vest with tank treads, and finally settled on a hammerhead shark-inspired shape rendered in molded plywood like the famous Eames chairs.”

Angoulvant result is a creeper that looks beautiful and is functional. The sled features integrated magnets to hold tools in place, and LED work lights to illuminate the underside of the car. Angoulvant pushed the wheels out to the sled’s edges, allowing them to be larger, and an easy-to-use brake lets gear heads really crank down on stubborn bolts without having their work platform slip out from under them.