I’ve always loved architecture, engineering and building things with my own hands, but it wasn’t until my senior seminar art course in college that lightning struck. I was playing around with the idea of tension and it’s role in the storing and release of energy when I had the breakthrough. I realized that if you take two pieces of curved wood and string cable between them in just the right way, you can create two forces; one that tries to pull the curves together, and one that tries to pull them apart. The net result is that the wooden curves are held in completely stable relation to each other, even though they don’t actually touch.
At first I just used the method to build abstract sculptures, but before long I realized that it had a lot more potential. After graduating, I spent my time designing and exploring the possibilities of the method I had developed by building things like lamps, chairs and tables. Now, after almost two years of experimentation, I’ve come up with a coffee table design that I’m really excited to produce on a larger scale and share with the world.
The Contour Coffee Table is not only a sturdy, functional table, but also an incredible piece of sculptural art that explores tension and opposing forces as the means of creating a completely stable system.
The main reward is the table, which comes in both medium and large sizes (30" x 30" base or 36" x 36" base). The table's curves are cut from intricately patterned 1 ½ inch thick Plyboo bamboo plywood, which is sustainably harvested and LEED certified. The end result is a gallery-worthy table that you can be proud of, at a special price that you will only find on Kickstarter.
If, however, you live in a small apartment like myself and don't have room for a new table, you can still help out. I’ve put a lot of thought into my rewards, going so far as to create a few new products just for this campaign. The Contour Lamp, for example, is one of my favorite designs ever and was created specifically for this Kickstarter project! As you scroll down through pictures and descriptions of the rewards, keep in mind that shipping costs are already included at each reward level.
Remember, Kickstarter is all or nothing, so unless I reach my goal of $10,000, no money will change hands and no one will get their reward!
Bay Area Specials
You will notice in the pledges column that there is a "Bay Area Specials" box that lists all of the tables at slightly lower prices. Tables are very expensive to pack and ship. The Bay Area Special is an attempt to combat this and get the table to as many people as possible at a lower price. If you live in the San Francisco Bay area, select the “Bay Area Specials” option and enter the dollar amount that corresponds with your desired reward. I will then personally deliver your table instead of packing and shipping it to you. It’s much cheaper for everyone this way!
With a pledge of $1 or more, you get my undying appreciation, backer updates and a sweet mental high-five.
With a pledge of $10, you get five 4 x 6 prints, including images of a hand-laminated version of the Contour Coffee Table, the bamboo Contour Coffee Table and the Contour Lamp, with a thank-you note on the back of each one.
If you give $25, you'll get the same prints as the previous reward, along with a hand-written thank-you on a small concept sketch. You'll also get your own scaled-down version of the bamboo S-curve used to make the Contour Coffee Table. Play with it, make your own sculpture, or throw it like a boomerang.
A pledge of $40 gets you everything from the previous reward along with an 8 x 10 print of the final drawing/plan for the Contour Lamp - it's a piece of art all by itself!
If you give $75, you get your very own tabletop Contour Sculpture. Made with a scaled down version of the S-curve used to create the Contour Coffee Table, this sculpture was designed just for Kickstarter! The sculpture explores tension and stability on a smaller scale and looks especially great as light bounces off of the steel cables. Though the pictured prototype is made of regular plywood, the version you receive will be cut from the same beautiful, patterned bamboo plywood as the Contour Coffee Table. Measures 16" x 7" x 10".
A pledge of $175 will get you the Contour Lamp. Designed just for this Kickstarter Campaign, this completely unique lamp, like the Contour Sculpture, is made from a scaled down version of the S-curve used to make the Contour Coffee Table. Steel cables support the lamp and and a rice paper lampshade covers the light bulb. The pictured prototype was made with normal plywood, but the lamp you receive will be cut from the same beautiful, patterned bamboo plywood as the Contour Coffee Table. Measures 16" x 7" x 10". The price will go up once the campaign ends, so don't wait!
If you like the way the Contour Coffee Table looks, but don't have room for one, a $300 pledge will get you a small-scale replica of the coffee table base. Measuring 16" x 16" x 7" this sculpture will look outstanding either displayed on a table or mounted on a wall. It is identical to the table base shown below, just smaller! Limited edition of 20.
We've made it to the tables! First, you have the option to get just the table base with no glass included. This way, you can get your own glass cut to your preferred dimensions at a local store. You get the medium and large table bases for $550 and $795 respectively ($495 and $650 if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area). The medium table base measures 30” x 30” x 13.5” and the large table base measures 36” x 36” x 15”
If you would like your glass included, a pledge of $695 (or $595 if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area) will get you a medium size Contour Coffee Table with a 32" x 32" glass tabletop. The table is 14" high.
If rectangles are more your thing, a pledge of $750 (or $625 if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area) will get you the same medium size Contour Coffee Table base with a larger 32" x 42" glass tabletop. The table is 14" high.
Thinking big? With a pledge of $995 (or $795 if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area) you can get a large Contour Coffee Table with a 38" x 38" glass tabletop. The table is 15.5" high.
Finally, if you're feeling super generous, you can pledge $2,000 (or $1,800 if you live in the San Francisco bay Area) and get a large, hand-laminated version of the Contour Coffee Table. This is the original version of the table. Instead of cutting bamboo to make the S-curves, boards of poplar are cut into very thin strips, which are then glued together and clamped in a mold to set. The process is very time-consuming, but achieves a gorgeous, layered result. The table comes with a 38" x 38" glass tabletop and is 15.5 inches high.
What’s the Money For?
If I reach my goal of $10,000, the funds will serve two purposes. First, bamboo is expensive and so is packing and shipping a table! Over half of the funds will go toward producing your rewards and getting them to you. The remaining funds will help me start my own business. I love designing and creating, and starting a business will allow me to continue developing products for you.
Risks and challenges
There are always risks and challenges associated with any project, but I have done my best to develop a concrete plan to avoid as many pitfalls and delays as possible. Here are some potential points of concern and how I have addressed them:
I get my materials from two very reliable sources. Cable, copper crimps and other bits of hardware come from online superstore McMaster-Carr and are always delivered 1-2 days after I order them. I get the "Plyboo" bamboo plywood directly from the company that makes it, Smith and Fong, in San Francisco.
I have worked hard to streamline the production process of the Contour Coffee Table so that I will be ready to go into production right away if the campaign is successful. I work out of the membership-based Techshop in Menlo Park, CA, where I have access to the CNC Milling machine used to cut the bamboo and all other necessary tools. The main challenge will be producing the rewards in a timely manner if the campaign is extremely successful. I have budgeted the necessary time to make each product and am prepared to put limits on certain rewards if they become overwhelmingly popular so that I can have everything delivered by the March deadline.
Packing and Shipping:
Figuring out packing and shipping of the tables has, surprisingly, been one of the most difficult aspects of this projects. Ensuring that the tables are not damaged in transit is extremely important. The tables themselves are very sturdy and have no risk of falling apart in transit, but there is still the need to protect against scrapes and dents to the wood. I have therefore decided to construct my own custom-built boxes to ensure proper transport of the tables. I have already budgeted the cost of materials and time spent building boxes into my plan.
In order to ensure that you get the glass for your table and that it is intact, it will be shipped to you by Dulles Glass and Mirror, a company that ships glass all over the country. The glass and the table will each be sent separately, but the two should arrive within days of each other. If you live in the Bay Area, I will get your glass from my local shop and deliver it with your table. All glass is 3/8" thick and furniture grade quality.
- (30 days)