‘Swell’ is a series of stools and benches which play with the conventional method of producing upholstered furniture. Instead of moulding massive blocks of foam, cutting them down to size, gluing the separate pieces to a wood frame and hand-sewing fabric on top, ‘Swell’ combines several steps of production into one by using the fabric and frame as the original mould for the foam.
Produced upside-down, the fabric (moulded felt) is used as a bowl into which liquid polyurethane foam is poured, while an elm wood frame is suspended directly above in a jig. The foam slowly expands, rising out of the felt and through the form of the frame, binding the two parts together.
“This process results in fewer steps, less material and less time-consuming handwork.” says Griffin. “Because the foam fills the fabric, no material is wasted as cutoffs. Because the foam acts as a binding agent between the fabric and frame, no additional adhesives or sewing are necessary. Lastly, since the foam expands in a slightly different way each time, each piece is unique.”