A Great Man, A Great Chair

Pt. 2 of god knows how many in the catch-up game.

So about a month ago, we got our second assignment in Projects. The new President of our college, Mr. Sean T. Buffington, has taken an interest in the Crafts Department ever since we showed work at his inaugural gala (not to mention dressed up in 50's outfits and helped serve and usher) So he came in and gave us a commision--make a piece for him that both represents him in some way, as well as our own way of working. He gave a short presentation on Crafts objects he already has in his life as a starting of point...but sadly there was no fibers work in it, unless you count a cheesy, etsy-esque stuffed owl his partner got for him...lame!

But in anycase, I didn't find the generic antiquey things and personal effects, or the ubiqutous scandanavian mid-century design all that inspiring. Instead, I decided to work from the man himself. Every since I saw the hand-made t-shirts emblazoned with his face and the words "Buff Daddy" on students at his inauguration, I knew he was a personality to contend with. So I made a portrait of the man, of the 'chairman of the board,' so to speak.

Behind every great man, there is a great chair.

Sitting happily in his office now, it stares at the interns and office workers whenever he's not around to do so.

'Chair for Buff-Buff'
Found chair, new upholstery, applique

Behind the scenes:

The original chair, already half disassembled. I found it in a little side-hallway off of our 'student gallery' down by the ceramics studio. It was with a bunch of other junk, so I decided to assumed it was trash. By the way, taking the upholstery off of this piece of crap was a pain~! So many little freaking staples.

The old cushion. The fabric was this really awful fabric that was almost like a burlap. The arm cushions, when I pried them open, leaked this pollen-colored powder that I can only assume was once foam. (it's worth noting that before I got this chair, I was working on another, only to find some very noxious looking green and peach-colored mold under the fabric. Old furniture is pretty gross)

Unfortunately I don't have any other 'inbetween' shots but here's a rundown on how I got to this stage.
1) Paint--two coats of white, one failed attempt to mix liquid pigment with paint to get orange (got a nasty fleshy color) then two coats of Bright Pumpkin. Orange is Buff's favorite color
2) Replaced upholstery on the actual framework of the chair (under the cushion.) More difficult than I imagined, I had a hard time restuffing it.
3)Did the armrests twice--the first attempt is in the picture, in gray, I later re-did it with the teal fabric and more stuffing, looked much better.
4) Re-did the cushions
And not shown, but
5) Appliqu├ęd the face. Three dang times before I got it right. Finally had to use reverse applique to get the finer black lines to work. There's actually 2 faces, a serious one (shown) on one side, and a happy (sort of 'special') looking one on the other, no picture of that yet, sorry! And now I have 2 creepy almost-faces hanging in my studio.

Alright, that's 2 projects~! I'll try and keep going tomorrow~


  1. This makes me so happy I can't even tell you.
    OH. MAN.
    love, kali

  2. what a cool chair, that salmon color looks rather nice.

    'designing your life'

  3. In reality, it's actually a bright pumpkin orange!