Ever wondered what to do with all your champagne corks? The minds behind design website Design within Reach hold an annual ‘Champagne Chair Contest’. The guidelines to enter, create a miniature chair using only the foil, label, cage and cork from no more than two champagne bottles. Easy.
First place this year was awarded to Bruce Hirschman and his creation, the Crescent Chair. He was inspired by the natural shape of the cork, and kept his design pure by using only the cork, however Hirschman employed many tools, including a jeweler’s saw, X-Acto knife, drill press, grinding burrs and belt sander. Figuring out how to shape cork was his biggest challenge. “It’s not the easiest of materials,” he said. “My process was the traditional sculpture method: just remove everything that is not the sculpture.”
The judges were drawn to the chair’s simplicity and beautiful shape; stating that the chair seemed “so friendly, like a koala bear.” Judges also praised the chair for its high level of craftsmanship.
Second place was awarded to ‘the bubbly chair’ by Zach Martin. His tools included cutters, a little saw and super glue, and his greatest challenge was getting the legs and back to look straight while also being wavy.
Third place, and my personal favourite is the ‘Piper beach Chair’ crafted by Jeffery Burke Whitten. “I had designed and built a completely different chair on the last day of the contest but decided I wasn’t happy with it,” he said. “I didn’t have time to drink two more bottles of champagne, so I dismantled the original design and used the same materials to build the Piper Beach Chair.” The judges praised the chair for its geometry, wit and use of graphics.
I could definitely see myself drinking several glasses of champagne in the sunshine lounging on this creation.