Our group met several times to noodle on how to approach our project this year. Ultimately, we decided to create a piece with a very practical use. We wanted to take an object and quite simply transform its’ function in a subtle but meaningful way. As a manufacturer of furniture, we thought what better way to represent our core product portfolio than to start with a desk. We thought it best to turn this found desk into something we could all see ourselves utilizing in our homes and that is how we landed on turning this desk into a bench that could sit in an entryway as a place to take your shoes off or set at the end of the bed to act as extra storage, the possibilities then became expansive.
As we scrolled our social media feeds, we were inspired by images that took vintage four+ leg desks and set them alcoves or nooks to create an aesthetic the celebrated the juxtaposition of pairing the old with the new. And so our hunt began…
We found Richard at King Richard’s Antique Center in Whittier, California. This antique store is located in a historic citrus packing building know as the Whittier Citrus Association Packing House in 1903. It was transformed into the King Richard’s Antique Center in 1979. It is known as the largest antique center in California with 100’s of vendors selling their wares. This place is huge, but we knew we had found the piece to fulfill our project goals as soon as we saw Richard in all his blue glory. Based on the design of the piece and original hardware, we estimate his birth to be the 1960’s or 1970’s which fits appropriately into the ‘Peace, Love & Chairity’ theme. Richard had been refurbished by somebody else who had found him along the way, but we thought the possibilities were vast so decided to bring him home for some tender, lover & care.
The first step was to remove his eight legs as our vision entailed a much shorter stature if we were going to successfully transform him into a bench. From there, he was sanded and cleaned in preparation for painting which would ultimately be the first step in modernizing his aesthetic. The paint utilized required waxing to finish the process which resulted in a smooth graphite and was complemented with black hardware and legs. Once this process was complete, Richard was sent up to San Francisco where he received his finishing touches. We were able to fabricate a simple cushion out of found materials to create the final form and function.