Enda Scott, Harmonograph Low Table, IE, 2020
In the short time since setting up his own workshop in 2012, Irish Designer Enda Scott has built a reputation for innovative pieces of contemporary furniture that demonstrate imagination in both their form and function. Scott’s meticulous bent wood technique shares a kinship with basket weaving or wicker, with bent wood supports interlaced to create a durable structure that appears delicate and graceful with a suggestion of perpetual movement. Scott’s first group of works for Todd Merrill Studio, titled The Harmonograph Collection, explore the relationship between sight and sound, its undulating lines representing a sound wave as it gradually contracts.
His work is best characterized by the juxtaposition of elegant simplicity in finished form with the underlying complexity of concept realization. Based on concepts found in “Harmonograph”, a visual guidebook to the mathematics of music, Scott’s works are a visual representation of a sound wave formed by two notes of different frequency, the fading of sound demonstrated by the wave as it gradually expands and contracts.
To create the complex structure of the woven wood frames, Scott developed a CAD program based on the harmonograph to produce three dimensional models. Using these models as reference, the sofa and table are then sculpted by hand, through a unique process of lamination. Given the complex nature of the curves involved, traditional methods of lamination through the use of a former was unfeasible, and free form lamination failed to provide sufficient control to maintain the integrity of his design. To fully articulate his singular vision, Scott devised a process of ‘semi-form’ lamination that would combines both traditional methods. Overall, the series provides an insight into the connection between sight and sound, a relationship where audible harmony produces visual symmetry.
After working towards a career in law at University College Dublin, Scott assisted his father, a joiner, on the restoration of Victorian and Georgian houses, making and restoring sash windows, staircases, panelling and other joinery work. Having learned basic practical woodworking skills, in 2007 Scott made his first piece of furniture, a rocking chair crafted from workshop offcuts, as a Christmas gift for his now wife. It was this event that would spark a deeper designer to learn more about the artistic side of woodworking. Scott would eventually qualify as a barrister in 2007, however he would never practice, rather, choosing to enroll at the prestigious fine woodworking school, Rowden Atelier in Devonshire, England.
At Rowden, Scott developed concepts that explore that organic characteristics of wood by employing traditional cabinetmaking techniques to form the overall sculptural design and innovative methods to push the boundaries of existing practices. “From the first day at Rowden, I knew that this was the path I wanted to pursue. What stays with me most from my time there are the lessons I learned from the two tutors, Darren Millman and Steve Perry; specifically Darren’s phrase ‘its either right, or its not.’ I wanted to set standards. It is about the pursuit of perfection and excellence,” he states.
In 2014 the Royal Dublin Society honored Scott with the Award of Excellence and the California Gold Medal for his “Obliquity Chair”, sculpted from Irish ash, on a perspex base. In 2018 Scott was selected for the Irish Design and Crafts Council portfolio program.
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