June 7, 2009

Enzo Mari x Ikea Mashup, Ch. 6: Ikeaness

Enzo Mari x Ikea - Joinery, originally uploaded by gregorg.



The tile in the guest bathroom in North Carolina was handmade and sun-dried in Mexico, as you can tell by the single square with the artful flaw, a footprint from a wandering dog.

Woodworking aficionados get off on things like grain patterns and joinery, the more intricate the better. So it's at once surprising and totally not that after spending so much time finishing this wood, I'm starting to dig its industrial qualities, its intrinsic Ikeaness.

Ikea's IVAR shelving system is made from unfinished pine, but that's barely half the story. When you start looking closely, you see that even the simplest board is actually made up of several pieces of wood, spliced together.

It's never the same, either. Each identical-seeming 72-in. post is unique. It's almost like they piece all these scraps together with this insane, zig-zag scarf joint, into a single, endless piece of wood, which gets extruded, drilled, and cut to length on the other end.

Once you notice these joints--this one is the highest-contrast of the whole pile--your eyes are drawn to them, like learning a new word and suddenly hearing it everywhere.

The shelves are glued up from pine strips, that's obvious. But was I really so focused on selecting the "right" color ranges that I didn't notice this string of lozenge-shaped plugs which filled a massive gap in one of the the shelves? I think that will be the table's dog footprint.

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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first published: June 7, 2009.

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