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article imageMan builds staircase and bed out of salvaged pianos

By Megan Morreale     Feb 16, 2014 in Lifestyle
Tim Vincent-Smith, a UK-based interior design artist, built a staircase leading to a lofted bed out of two repurposed pianos.
The project was originally posted on his blog, Kilometer Zero running. He likened the dismembering of the pianos to butchery, describing the noises and creaks the pianos made as sounds of distress.
"Dismembering them put me in mind of the French restaurant where they kill a cow on the weekend and prepare every part for food. Nose to tail carpentry. The noises that came out of the carcass - as one by one the strings were cut, as the age-jammed creaking screws were forced loose with brace and bit, as the hide-glue joins were split with a wooden club and meat cleaver – composed the most extraordinary swan song. As with good butchery, great care is taken to preserve the best cuts and though to the faint hearted observer the scene is perhaps macabre, to the butcher it is an honour to pay homage to the life that has passed in this way. Even in the dry acoustic of the studio every sound resonates through the body of the instrument creating the effect of a large stone hall" Vincent-Smith said.
Humbled by the amount of work that goes into making a piano, Vincent-Smith described the intricacies that one can learn from reconstructing backwards as remarkable. Each of the parts told their own story, each made from a different type of wood and some individually dated with their own manufacturing date.
"Metatarsals of hornbeam connect felted hammers through an intricate arrangement of joints and pivots to long fingers of basswood coated with wafer thin slices of white bone ivory and in the gaps between these teeth, black ebony wood," Vincent-Smith said.
The client for which he built the piece of artwork is a cellist with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and is what Vincent-Smith described as "glamorous." In the client's likeness, he envisioned the apparatus to be somewhat in the shape of a high-heel and to reflect some symmetry.
"One panel of curved wood with a dark veneer frames a mirror that reflects the staircase to form the other shoe. This inversion is itself mirrored figuratively in the symmetry of the two iron harps at right angles to each other," Vincent-Smith said.
Vincent-Smith thanked Su-a Lee for the conception and funding of the project.
All of his artwork has a surprising amount of originality involved in it, and can be seen on his website. This is further demonstrated by a quote displayed as his description on his website:
"Marttine Bedin designs what she likes, not what the customer wants, because the customer does not know and could never explain, just as she cannot explain what she will do until she has done it. A designer, she thinks, is a sort of peaceful terrorist, who creates what nobody expects, what nobody could foresee: that is the whole point of originality."
More about Piano, Design, interior deisgn, Decorating & interior design, repurposed furniture
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