Quality craftsmanship used to manufacture an exclusive metal chair designed by Brodie Neill

Client: Brodie Neill

The task
In 2009, Brodie Neill commissioned Envisage to manufacture the Reverb Chair – a limited edition of 20 pieces.tbc

Envisage has an established track record in manufacturing high quality metal commissions finished to a very high standard. Much of our furniture work involves the machining of tooling to the designer’s CAD model to ensure that we achieve the correct final shape from the hand-formed parts. We use hand crafting skills such as wheeling, welding, metal finishing and polishing.

For this commission, the chair’s design was to be functional and appear visually as a single hand-made fluid skin. The outside and inside of the chair were to be totally seamless and we recommended electro-less nickel plating in order to protect the chair’s aluminium surface from oxidation and scratching.

We began by designing and CNC machining a male hammer-form to the CAD model of the chair. This also incorporated the leg section that was removable as a separate piece for ease of manufacture. Once complete, we then developed the required patterns and cut these out of aluminium sheet. The next operation involved wheeling the individual aluminium pieces into the correct form – this unquestionably required very skilled craftsmanship to complete. The pieces were then tack welded on the hammer-form prior to being completely welded into position.

We moved on to the finishing stage, working on the inside and outside surfaces, ensuring that all joints and welds were smooth and invisible – a smooth fluid finish across the whole chair.  Once completely satisfied with the overall shape of the chair, the aluminium surfaces were mirror polished to remove any pitting or scratches. We then mounted a jig on the underside of the chair for the electro-less nickel plating to be applied. Finally, the nickel-plated aluminium on both sides was polished to a give perfect quality mirrored finish.

What happened next?
The completed chair was inspected by Brodie Neill and then crated, shipped and displayed in a number of art exhibitions around the world.