Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Prototyping 3.

I mentioned in a previous post that the zoetrope should allude to a beautiful item of furniture, a light even. Now that I am entering the production phase it is necessary to choose materials and consider how they contribute to the final product.

The zoetrope functions due to the persistence vision, the same phenomena that creates cinema. Viewers often consider this and the mechanical nature of the zoetrope as something, "technical". I decided to construct the stand of the zoetrope from quality hardwood as a means of grounding it in the natural world. It goes against the notion of something space age. It is also familiar in the language of furniture and interior design.

The shutter action of the zoetropes 'drum' requires [colour] contrast, so a dark finish is required. Whilst feeling that wood is the right material, I don't want to create something Victorian, or in any kind of antique aesthetic.

I chose walnut, a cool dark wood that is sustainable. I experimented with various finishes, but the material is so beautiful that it should be celebrated in its natural state. Clear water based lacquer protects the wood and exaggerates the grain. I have a susspicion that the veneered shutter will result in walnut overload, so a flat black finish is in reserve.


The image shows a plain walnut sample, clear lacquer and flat black. What isn't completely clear in the image is that the black retains the wood texture. The finish is flat, the material is not.

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