The Autry museum commissioned me to design and create this 26′ bench for their Alcove Room, as a part of their Oct. 2016 opening of many newly renovated galleries and exhibitions. My wife Suzanne was in charge of filming a dual-projection 6 hour meditative film, consisting of gorgeous time-lapse, macro and wide angle shots of the following California areas: Joshua Tree, Big Sur, Redwoods, Mt Whitney and Death Valley. The visitors sit on this bench while viewing the natural wonders of California projected on the opposite wall. The bench is designed as an outdoor bench with weather resistant steel coatings, and tough Oak wood, (although it is indoors) to compliment its natural feeling, and to suggest its actual ‘habitat’ as being, outside.
The oak is steamed for an hour at 212º to attain some pliability, however it gives us only about 30 seconds of real flexibility and then rapidly loses it. As it rigidifies, the slats are easier to break and tear, and the process is very physical and the steam and slats are hot enough to burn you, so thick gloves must be worn making it pretty exciting. I imagine it to be something like glass blowing, but more frenzied.