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  • Peter Linnett

prototyping Centaur

Digital manufacturing makes everything easy. But I enjoy the challenge of making complicated things "old school" - by hand. The errors become part of the story.

Whilst I never expressly design things to be un-makeable, I see a parallel between my work and the compositional ideas of the "new complexity" composers like Brian Ferneyhough (who seek to ensure that every performance of their music is unique and unrepeatable, by making it so complicated that it cannot be played without mistakes).

A case in point is the jointing of this AP (Artists Prototype, rather than Artists Proof) of Centaur, which I shall be unveiling later this year...

Three legs of the desk each intersect the curved and undulating edges of the desktop at different angles - so each segment of every joint must be hand-cut. And there are no straight lines or flat surfaces.

It was all modelled in Rhino. But, inevitably, hand carved surfaces deviate from the mathematically defined curve. So, in the end, it comes down to laborious trial and error.

We have used a mastic adhesive to take up the inevitable slack. And opted for a contrasting colour adhesive - just to highlight the joint line.

Once this prototype has been fully built and final adjustments made, this part of Centaur will actually be fabricated in sand-cast bronze. But don't worry - I'll ensure that we make mistakes in that too...

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