Bradley Sumner is a former student of Grammar School. Here he tells us all about his work, Slotti, which are currently on show through to the end of December as part of Six of the Best in the greenhouse.
Can you describe the concerns of your work including what ideas, themes and research sources influence and are present in it?
In this piece of work, my main aim was to tackle the current issues that are met with current low cost outdoor furniture – that being it is very low quality, breaks easily, is un-repairable and unsustainable. To tackle these problems looked at two main concerns – making a chair out of a strong, sustainable and recycled material while also making it easily repairable. To achieve this, I took inspiration from famous, innovative designers such as Charles and Ray Eames to try and create the most off the wall and different design as possible that still had integrity.
What medium/s did you use to create your final year piece and why did you choose this/these medium?
My final piece was constructed from recycled elm was well as sustainably source plywood. This was the prototype for the top of the range model and was finished in a high gloss polyurethane Varnish to give it a gloss finish. The marketed product would have been milled from solid, recycled/sustainably sources elm plywood.
What aspect of the making of your work was the most challenging?
I definitely found that covering the chairs plywood core with the elm veneer hardest, this was because it took a lot of planning and accuracy to create joints that gave the effect of solid wood while having a strong core.
Can you see yourself developing the work you have made? If so what themes and ideas would you address?
I would love to develop my work and keep playing with different ideas for the design of the chair as I think with a little extra time and effort it could really become a marketable item that addresses the immediate problem of sustainability around the world by encouraging others to recycle materials and use recycled materials in inventive and creative ways to produce new and attractive designs for everyday items.
What does the immediate future hold for you and how does Art fit into that future?
Despite originally wanting to study Art at University, in September I will hopefully be studying Architecture at Kingston University. I am really looking forward to this and hope that I can bring influences from my work in art and design to the problems I will be set with next year and in the future to really make my mark.