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Steven Follen
Commision for the Craft Study Centre, Farnham


Crafts Study Centre
Farnham, Surrey

April 2004

Commission for a donation box and two sets of coat pegs

Crafts Study Centre leaflet

Design, manufacture and installation of bespoke, functional, designs for the interior of the newly built Crafts Study Centre, which was designed and built to house a nationally important Crafts Collection and provide a international research and study resource.

The designs were made in stainless steel using contemporary manufacturing processes and referenced traditional silversmithing and metalworking techniques. The domestic scale of the building and the subject of the collection lead to an exploration of the crafts aesthetic - designing objects which had a reference to the hand-made artefact but which could only be made using contemporary and industrial technologies such as laser cutting and photoetching. The pieces added to the Crafts Study Centre's collection and raised questions about the role and identity of craft.

The overall design of the Donations Box was developed using 3D CAD software. Digital drawings were sent to a manufacture to laser cut and form the design. Digital images for the front face were developed from photographs of hands. Images were manipulated in Photoshop and edited in Illustrator. The design was then emailed to a specialist contractor who photo-etched it into the steel. The works played on a verbal pun of the "hand made" and the "hand crafted".

Slideshow: Steven Follen - Craft Study Centre Commission

Designs for the Peg Rails were developed by using 3D CAD software and working in conjunction with a laser cutter. The profiles were cut and bent on a hydraulic press. The metal was surfaced and installed with a backing of ash timber as the completed Peg Rails. The drawn pencil line used to describe the silouette of the pegs was echoed in the drawn quality of the laser cut lines. The visual simplicity of the finished artefact belies the complexity of its manufacture and the fact that it would have been impossible to make by hand.

A workshop for schools explored the design concepts behind Follen's pieces.

Crafts Study Centre - information for schools workshop

Exploration of these processes were further developed in pieces for St Botolphs Church, Aldgate.


Creative Network magazine

Crafts magazine

Ceramic Review

Museums Journal

back to Steven Follen home page

London Metropolitan University