Built Like a Boat
Matthias Pliessnig employs boatbuilding techniques to craft his curved seating.
Synopsis: Matthias Pliessnig employs boatbuilding techniques to craft his curved seating. After some work in a 3-D modeling program, a latticework of ribs and stringers takes shape and forms the skeleton of the piece. See how he does it.
In Matthias Pliessnig’s seating pieces (see the back cover), structure and surface are fused. He brings boatbuilding techniques to his furniture, creating for each piece a steambent skeleton overlaid with steam-bent slats, or stringers. He develops the designs on the computer in Rhinoceros, a 3-D modeling program, which, with its draping grid of lines representing compound curved forms, is a perfect corollary to the latticework of ribs and stringers in his furniture. When Pliessnig has a shape he likes on the computer, he takes slices through the drawing and uses those section views as templates for the plywood ribs that are the starting point of the physical structure.