by Yuya Zhou / in MATERIAL & TECHNIQUE RELATED / on 01/30/2022

I got the inspiration from black leopard. I want to make a chair that has a strong-muscled, powerful look.

I want to have some dramatic contrast to make the “powerful look” even more exaggerated. So, I add a belt to the design. The belt is decorative and functional at the same time. In my imagination, the belt should be fastened at the back of the chair, which tighten the “muscle” on both arm and back.

inspiration image

Due to the time limit and the course requirement, I bought a second-hand club chair, stripped it down and reused the wood structure inside. It was really interesting to see how the chair was made when I striped down the fabric piece by piece. The fabric on the chair was stapled to the wood frame, there was no sewing at all.

Based on the wood frame, I start to design the leopard chair. I want to make the seat back shorter, and the arm wider. The whole proportion of the chair should change from a tall slim shape to a short wide one.

I cut the seat back with a Japanese pull saw, then I draw a pattern on the chipboard, transfer the pattern to the plywood, cut the plywood on the bandsaw, sand the sharp edge off and staple the plywood to the wood frame.

Instead of using black webbing, I use some non-stretch fabric to cover the wood frame so that the chair could maintain its shape.

I cut off the wood structure between the arm and the back to create an open space that will allow the fabric to go through.

After the general structure is confirmed. I glue the foam in the order of firm, medium, and soft from bottom to the top layer by layer.

I use the foam cutter and the brush to shape the foam.

I draw the pattern on paper and chipboard, and then transfer the pattern to the black velvet.

Here is the big mistake I made: The pattern of the fabric should be drawn based on the technical drawing. I drew the pattern based on the shape of the foam that has glued on the chair. As we all know, the foam is spongy. It is not accurate when I transfer the pattern according to the foam shape. In that case, the pattern I got is larger than what it should be.

So, due to the mistake, the chair is going bigger and the proportion changes a lot.

To balance off the massive dark color, I decide to sew a gold color topstitch line as a nice detail. The metallic color thread is in polyester and is quite thin. To make it more visible, I do a zig zag line instead.

I really like the gold color in the leopard’s eyes. The bright outstanding color is like a warning sign that brings a feeling of danger.

In that case, I make the feet of the chair in gold color. People usually look at the chair from a high angle. The feet are hidden. However, when people squatted down to see the chair from the front, they will immediately notice the golden feet. 

The seat depth is larger than it should be. So, I use the gold brown color velvet (the same material as the chocker belt) to make a back cushion.

Besides, I add a black strip as a decoration on the cushion.

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