Maker of the Week - Colin Selig - News
Monday 21 May 2012
Eco artist Colin Selig created benches from discarded propane tanks. His original inspiration came from a junk tank on his property which he was going to scrap. The curved forms of its lozenge shape stimulated his imagination as he considered possible ways to dissect and reassemble it. He was intrigued by the design challenge and ecological statement involved in upcycling a ubiquitous, utilitarian object into something more sensual in form and higher in function.
The benches he makes are comfortable, durable, playful, customisable, and made entirely from a sustainable material. They are large enough in scale and sturdy enough in design to be suitable for indoor and outdoor locations in parks, urban streetscapes, mass transit stations, or anywhere else resilient seating is desired.
Colin studied metal sculpting at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston while completing a degree in Philosophy from Tufts University in 1987. His education includes apprenticeships with a race car fabricator as well as a Fulbright Scholarship recipient sculptor. He recently won a Core77 Design award. His work will be on display at the 2012 Smithsonian Craft Show.
Images, from top to bottom:
1. 'Propane Tank Bench #1,' 1020 mm (40in) high x 3070mm (121in) wide x 940mm (37in) dia., 2010
2. 'Propane Tank Chaise Bench,' 910mm (36in) high x 3850mm (141in) wide x 940mm (37in) dia., 2011. This design is inspired by the classic chaise lounge
3. 'Propane Tank Lips Bench', 890mm (35in) high x 3230mm (127in) wide x 910mm (36in) dia., 2011. This bench pays homage to Salvador Dali's iconic 1936 'Mae West' sofa.
4. 'Propane Tank Metamorphosis Bench,' 1400mm (55in) high x 2520mm (99in) wide x 840mm (33in) dia., 2011. This design of this backless bench extrapolates shapes within the tank into an organic form which looks as if it could take flight, as if to celebrate its rebirth
5. 'Propane Tank Armless Chair,' 970mm (38in) high x 1140mm (45in) wide x 1040mm (41in) dia., 2011. This design explores using one continuous piece of tank to form the backrest and rear legs
6. 'Propane Pro-Pleasure Bench,' 1040mm (41in) high x 4170mm (164in) wide x 1090mm (43in) dia, 2011. Creating a whimsical form was the design directive behind this bench.
7. 'Propane Tank Chair,' 840mm (33in) high x 970mm (38in) wide x 840mm (33in) dia., 2010. This chair was made from left over scraps of tank (PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF COLIN SELIG)