From a chair to a throne

Three-dimensional artwork comes to life


Cathie Lawrence

A three demensional Concept Design Class Chair Project, Los Medanos College, Pittsburg, CA., Person in this photo is Xabia Wilson the designer of this Chair/Throne. Person in background is Donte Turner. Febrary 13, 2014. Photo By Cathie Lawrence.

Last week something appeared in front of Los Medanos College’s Journalism Lab, what appeared to be a potted plant of tulips made out of corrugated cardboard.

Many people who passed by expressed different opinions on what they thought it was. In actuality, it is a piece of three-dimensional art, a chair from one of our own LMC students, Xabia Wilson, made for her Three Dimensional Design Concepts class. Professor Ian Bassett is a new instructor in the Art Department and he instructed his students to create a chair made of corrugated cardboard and, now Wilson’s is out for display.

Bassett wanted to assign a project that would be easy for his students to comprehend.

“My goal was to have my students create a three dimensional project that had parameters that were easily ascertained such as a chair,” he said. “We all use chairs daily. We all know what a chair is. We all know the function of a chair. Students could add their own inspiration influences or whatever interests them.”

He didn’t want them to create a chair that could be used, he wanted them to create a chair that is a work of art.

“This chair doesn’t have to be functional, it’s a model of a chair.”

When assigning the project he also thought about the students.

“Another project consideration was material and its cost,” he said. “Cardboard is free. Everyone here is on a budget and that was a parameter I had to work within.”

Cost wasn’t the only concern. He also considered that some students wouldn’t be as advanced as others.

“I had to also pick a material that students could create something from without a high learning curve such as ceramics or glass or wood.”

Wilson said it is a throne and that it represents the lotus flower.

She is a freelance artist and she likes to work with flowery shapes and paints.

She loves gardening and round shapes and adds a feminine touch to all her work. So when her instructor asked her to turn cardboard into a model of a three dimensional chair, she came up with this flowing flowery gentle, yet strong concept.

Although she loves the chair she created she didn’t have room at her home.

So she wanted to give it back to the school so others could enjoy her work.