Modern Mortise: Burr Puzzle Stool in Pink Metal

Sunday, August 11th, 2013 - Interior Design

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A jumble of hot-pink aluminum tubes come together to form a stool using an ancient ‘burr puzzle’ method of assembling the pieces. You-De Chen and Chin-Hua Lin have modernized the wood burr puzzle, in which six wood pieces in two different shapes are joined in a particular way to create extremely strong joints. In the new version, fourteen pieces of metal in four shapes form a more complex type of joinery.

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This results in an even stronger structure than a conventional burr puzzle, which is a symmetrical, three-dimensional unit of notched, interlocking pieces. A six-piece burr, also known as a ‘puzzle knot’ or ‘Chinese cross,’ is the most common type.

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This stool is more than just a practical piece of furniture; the process is just as important as the finished result. The user takes on the assembly of the piece both as a fun challenge and a means of gaining a deeper appreciation for its construction (in contrast to the not-so-fun challenge of putting together furniture from a certain Swedish retailer.)

Dornob