JANINE WANG
 

Personal Display

 
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I’ve never had a very good memory and that’s why, I think, I hold on to objects so tightly. I think we all do this to some extent. Some things are touch points, others are memories, some things we think are beautiful and just want to keep close to us. If not for our connection to them, objects on display are on display for others, not ourselves.

We display for ourselves, though. Surround ourselves with things we give meaning to, and in return those things give our houses the warmth and comfort of home.

As a designer, I can do what I was taught, and break it down. What are these things, what do they have in common, what do they look like that we would give them a place and power in our homes? It’s all so arbitrary. That’s what’s compelling about the personal connection, and what makes it special and yours. It feels like fate.

I could never presume to design for others an object programmed to be loved in this way. I might permit myself to house it, protect it, and cherish it. Can I make something that strengthens the bond we have with these things? Can I bring them closer to us? Make us more aware of them? Bring them out of basements and junk drawers and into our lines of sight and into our pockets?

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Grabbable Table

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An experiment...

After turning a pattern of beads to the dimensions of my hand, removing 1/4 of the spindle results in a 3/4 spindle that can be applied to any square edge surface, to make grabbing that edge instantly satisfying instead of slightly unpleasant. This simple piece of furniture frames this functional detail.

 
 
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Concrete Comforter

 
 
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Comfort...

“Concrete Comforter” crosses the malleability of a good, solid comforter (the way, balled up, pulled under, or bunched across, a comforter is the perfect piece of furniture on the bed), and the structure and stability of furniture. The ropes allow the piece to shape shift into many forms, compressing pillows embedded inside.  The pillows are imbued solidity and structure, but retain just enough sink, and the form of the piece is shaped to your own.

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Snug stone

 
 
 
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A seat partially upholstered with garden gate springs, which produce a unique and indescribably comfortable seating movement. The homogeny of felt obscures the mixture of surface textures, and an experience only understandable through actual occupation.

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Body at Work

 

(work in progress!)

Body at Work was based on the body shifts observed in a series of life-scale portraits, Body of Work, in combination with extensive experimentation exploring the ways in which we can reinvigorate and redefine turning’s role in furniture.

This seat accommodates for the way we work while “sitting still,” taking advantage of three qualities expressed uniquely in turned things: how the human body loves doubly-curved surfaces, how nesting profiles can combine to create complex surfaces, and how things turned can turn again once taken off the lathe. The seat is surprisingly comfortable and liberating.

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The complex curved surface created by the aggregate of hard maple spindles is actually surprisingly comfortable! The body loves doubly curved surfaces, and that is the beauty of spindles, bowls, and any turned shapes in relation to humans.

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One-legged Family

Still in process! (The family is growing)

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A family of stools

A family of stools pushing the “one-legged stool” typology as far as it can go. This mixture of mockups and finished pieces, when put in the hands of curious people, results in a cross-pollination of discoveries, combinations, uses, and postures.

I love watching people make sense of objects which have no strict pre-determined single function or orientation. Even small variations in height, width, weight, etc. result in totally different sitting and playing experiences. Perches become rolling ottomans, seats become slumping devices… a combination of two chairs actually becomes a vehicle that can propel you forward in a wriggling, snaking way.

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For My Old Friend

 

Oak, Birch ply, Scorched Astroturf.

An adjustable stair for loading my 100lb arthritic city dog into my parents’ car, for weekend trips to nature. Adjustable for two models of cars – The Nissan Quest, which we have since sold, and the Nissan Pathfinder, the car we had been considering buying at the time.

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These stairs were the last thing I had the privilege of making for her, definitively marking the beginning of her senior years. She was a very, very good friend.

 
 
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Poof A Model

 
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Cuppable Cups

 
 

my favorite thing about wood furniture

...is the feeling that comes from running my hands across it and imagining I can feel its maker’s experience. One of the most beautiful parts about learning a craft is being granted the power to read into the stories that objects carry. The hand lives on in the things that it has done.

We lead with our hands, into people, new objects, and places. I’ve always loved the idea of a handle of an object being the hand of it. A teapot can say “hello, please hold me this way.” And to “shake the handle” of a building before entering is as a means of introduction to a space. Our daily lives are full of mundane experiences in which our hands are so quietly involved that we can forget how dependent on them we really are.

This work is a woodturner’s meditation on the hand. It is based on my own hands, turned into accommodating gestures that hope to communicate an experience of making and turning, learning and listening, and holding and molding—from my hand to yours.

 
 
 
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Cuppable Cups

 

My favorite thing about wood furniture is the feeling that comes from running my hands across it and imagining I can feel its maker’s experience. One of the most beautiful parts about learning a craft is being granted the power to read into the stories that objects carry. The hand lives on in the things that it has done.

We lead with our hands, into people, new objects, and places. I’ve always loved the idea of a handle of an object being the hand of it. A teapot can say “hello, please hold me this way.” And to “shake the hand(le)” of a building before entering is as a means of introduction to a space.

Our daily lives are full of mundane experiences in which our hands are so quietly involved that we can forget how dependent on them we really are.

This work is a woodturner’s meditation on the hand. It is based on my own hands, turned into accommodating gestures that hope to communicate an experience of making and turning, learning and listening, and holding and molding—from my hand to yours.

 

 
 

Hug Mug

form study

 

(Long) Hug Mug

 
 
 

Small Latte

form study

"Grabbable Cactus"

 

Hug Mug

When did you last hug a mug?

 

Stabilizer

form study

from a particularly inspiring definition of "Bowl" which described it as "A simple device for stabilizing food."

Stabilizer