Furniture Aeronautique!

 

UPDATE May 2014: The Interfluxnik 48 table has taken up permanent residence at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, CA.

I find most of my inspiration in the solid, substantial stuff found at the scrap yard. During Ep.1 a few of us from the art dept. used our ‘credentials’ to gain access to a small, family-owned ex-NAVY supply depot across from the Oakland airport in the East Bay. Some of the internal volumes of this two warehouse complex resembled that last shot in the first Indiana Jones film- where the arc is boxed up and buried deep among vast terrains of concealed, countless booty. The parts prized from the containers at the depot were beautifully preserved jewels of fifty-year-old aeronautic engineering. It was a feast for the eye, for the camera and for an insatiable appetite of precious, formed, cast, stamped and welded metals. The mechanisms that make any plane work are experiments in lunacy: elegantly blunt, heavy aluminum armatures actuated by intricate, dedicated systems of pulleys, struts or a ridiculous muddle of hydraulic pumps and plumbing. Just holding one of these milled, polished.. perhaps anodized parts in your hand satisfies and provides real, lasting sustenance for a design brain.

 

Some shots of California Air Frame circa 1996 taken with my light-leaking 35mm..

 

Buying truck loads of this stuff from the airplane scrap yard, I’ve built various pieces of furniture over the years: a dining table using the rear horizontal stabilizer wing tips off of a Lockheed Constellation prop-liner from the 40’s. A daybed consisting of two radar dishes and landing gear parts, a variety of smaller storage unit pieces.. all absolutely functional and used around the house. The conceit behind this furniture is: honor the design/ craft of the part and build simply. I strive to combine these parts meant for different planes and applications into what looks and works like a piece of true aircraft engineering from a parallel universe. I don’t garnish the pieces with wood trim or spend my time polishing the aluminum to a mirrored finish.. all this distracts from the absolute-utilitarian nature of the parts…

 

The table is about 8′ across..

Dave Gordon and I were commissioned by SF production haus Radium to build this editing console for their editor Alan Chimenti. Both those guys are super cool. I miss the smell of grinding metal in the morning. It’s the smell.. of victory.

The daybed is about 9′ across.. yeah, these shots are scale-deceiving..

 

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9 Responses to “Furniture Aeronautique!”

  1. Nonie Says:

    Whoah this stuff is real?! Amaaaaazing! The dining table especially, wow. I… built an Ikea bookshelf this weekend… -_-

  2. shublog Says:

    Hey Nonie! It’s the real thing. the table was standing approx. a month out from finding the wings.. it took another seven years of intermittent tweaking to get it where it is today.

  3. Jason Scheier Says:

    your a monster!

  4. raison Says:

    hey jay,

    have you ever considered building a workstation with an actuator that also supports several monitors, a surface for a tablet, and can support several cpus, hds, and other computer peripherals?

  5. shublog Says:

    Raison! I’d love to build a chinese medicine cabinet-esque wall installation thick with compartments and cubbies crazed with wiring and umbilicals between monitors and hardware. Perhaps with a flip-up wing surface.. in its downtime would just be a beautiful, gleaming shape. Yeah.. all sounds good to me! Now I just need the time, space, material continuum to align!

  6. shoji Says:

    very inspiring work jay. really nice stuff. thanks for sharing!

  7. Reupbert Says:

    Wow I want that table that holds laptops and multiple monitors.

  8. Robert K. Says:

    Hi admin, I discovered your blog post from google as well as I start reading a few of your other article content.There’re awesome. Please be go on this excellent work.

  9. The Jalopy Journal » Blog Archive » It’s Not Friday, part II… Jay Shuster Says:

    […] he’s done a tone more automotive stuff and it’s all amazing. His love of making furniture out of vintage aircraft salvage almost merits a post of it’s […]

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