Boletus (Coffee Table) by Graham Hepburn
2012 - 2013, Golden A' Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design Award Winner
As the name implies, the Boletus coffee table was inspired by nature. Observing the changing seasons and the shape of the trees, the flowers and the mushrooms, led to the concept taking shape. With the desire to push the concept to the limit, synthetic materials in the base were blended with traditional, natural materials for the top surface.
The Boletus coffee table was conceived as a functional sculpture. The implausibly slender base and expansive top are intended to appear surreal in proportion and challenge convention. The design utilises modern materials to maximise strength and stability and whilst intriguing to look at from all angles can still hold your coffee tray.
Design Challenges
Developing the correct composite lay-up, reinforcement and ballast were key challenges in this project. Research into the structural properties of the composite material for production of the base and consultation with composite engineers helped overcome these issues.
Production Technology
The body of the table is manufactured from glass-fiber reinforced polyester resin. Where required, woven glass cloth is included in the laminate. Profiled strengthener ribs are bonded into the body and a ballast weight is cast into the base. The body is painted and finished with a clear lacquer top coat. This top coat is polished to create the piano finish. The top is manufactured from a moisture resistant MDF veneered with bird's eye maple. The top is lacquered with a satin sheen finish.
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