JOHN SMITH, RIPTIDE CHEST OF DRAWERS, 1997
HUON PINE, PLYWOOD
1400(H) x 500(W) x 500(D) mm
The Riptide Chest of Drawers aims to recreate the movements of ocean currents in solid form. Moulded plywood has been used to create the curved front, sides and back of the chest, with the exterior veneered in Huon Pine. The birds-eye grain of the Huon Pine further enhances the sense of a rippling surface. The wave form of the drawer fronts integrate the drawer-pull, unifying the functional with the design elements.
Peter Costello and Patrick Williams assisted John Smith to realise this complex design. The veneer, in particular, was challenging to work with being very prone to rippling and cracking. Only two Riptide Chests of Drawers have been made.
John Smith studied Furniture Design at High Wycombe College of Technology and Art. In 1970 he emigrated to Hobart to establish a new Centre for Furniture Design at the Tasmanian School of Art (now a part of the University of Tasmania).
The Centre for Furniture Design was to become a highly active locus for Tasmanian design and was widely acclaimed as the premier program of furniture design in Australia. John continued his own design work, undertaking many private and public commissions. John has been an effective advocate for design, serving on the boards of numerous design, industry and educational organisations including the Visual Arts and Crafts Board and the Design Committee of the Australia Council. A founding member of the Australian Academy of Design, he was one of the original members of the FDA (Furniture Designers Association).
Born: 1948, Chesterfield England, migrated to Australia, 1970.
Training: Pre-Diploma of Art, Chesterfield School of Art, 1967. Bachelor of Fine Arts (Furniture), High Wycombe College of Art and Technology, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom, 1969.
Represented: International Design Centre, Berlin; Powerhouse Museum, Sydney; National Gallery of Victoria; Tasmania Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart; Parliament House, Canberra; Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Hobart; Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston; Hobart City Council.