For my studio class, we were given partners and tasked with the construction of a chair designed with combined memory in mind. My partner, Rachel, and I had a discussion about memory and ended up talking about stories that related to our families. For her, she recalled going to dim sum with her family and sitting there talking with them and eating the delicious Chinese food like nothing’s changed. For me, my memory revolved around driving with my sister and dad for hours and singing along to our favorite songs. It’s sort of a tradition of ours; we drive down the same roads every time we go driving, but it’s always special. The middle of my drive is my favorite, when we drive past these hills and let the music soar through the night sky.
We then discussed in studio and decided that we would create a bean bag chair. We would use six panels with different scenes of our stories. I would make three panels that depicted Rachel’s dim sum memory and she would make three panels that depicted my car ride memory. We would sew them together and stuff the bean bag with cotton. The pattern was designed to use fabric at the sides to hide the sewn together seems at both ends. We decided to have the shape of a house at both ends because it represents how our memories go back home. We also decided to think about the inside of the bean bag. The bean bag is filled with cotton, but we thought we should spray paint the cotton and add lights and butterflies to represent the feelings we had in the memories. We liked this idea especially because the inside of the bean bag mimics how we feel inside.
In creating the bean bag, we both worked so hard to create our vignettes on the fabric panels. We didn’t anticipate that the panels would take as long as they did, but thankfully we had two weeks to work on the project instead of one. We then came together and spent hours sewing the panels together. It was especially difficult due to the lights I had in one of my panels. Finally we finished that and I took it home to finish it up two days before it was due. I had to go and buy more cotton, since we didn’t expect the bean bag to be so big, and then I went home to finish it up. I spent the next few days making the house icons for the sides, adding more stuffing, spray painting the stuffing, adding lights and butterflies to the stuffing, and just generally finishing the bean bag.
I’m very happy with our finished product and very happy with the work we put in. Rachel was very easy to work with and our ideas meshed nicely.