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George

Chest of Drawers
2013 (made), 2009 (designed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This chest of drawers was made using a combination of computer-controlled (CNC) cutting and hand chiselling. The two techniques create the effect of a rectangular chest of drawers, underneath which sits the sinous form of an 18th-century commode. Gareth Neal is trained in traditional cabinet-making techniques, but embraces modern joinery design methods. "Tools are tools" he says, "whether digital or hand tools. Nothing is simple about either of them".


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Carved ash, steel
Brief Description
Ash chest of drawers with steel runners
Physical Description
Ash chest of drawers, with three drawers on steel runners. A solid ash top sits on top of the case.



Thin cuts have been made horizontally into the solid ash wood around the front and sides of the case. These cuts form a regular horizontal pattern, and create a rectilinear outline to the case's left-hand side. On the right side of the case this rectilinear shape is eroded, as the cuts are chiselled away to reveal the sinous curves of a bombe commode. This curved commode appears to sit underneath the object's outer rectangular form.



The chest of drawers was made using a combination of machine and hand techniques - the regularity of the cutting was achieved by using a computer controlled saw (CNC machine), while the irregularity of the chiselling was done by hand.
Dimensions
  • Height: 109cm
  • Width: 81cm
  • Depth: 51cm
Production typeArtist's proof
Credit line
Purchased by the Design Fund to benefit the V&A
Object history
The idea for the 'George' commode came from an accident that Gareth Neal made when he was familiarizing himself with a computer software programme (Rhino). Neal tried to use the programme to combine different tools - he was delighted with the result, and it lead to the combination of regular cutting and hand chiselling on this chest of drawers.



The name of the chest of drawers, 'George', makes a nod to the form of the 1780s George III commode which appears to lie underneath its outer surface.



The first version of 'George' was made in oak (as an edition of five) and was shown in the V&A's 'Telling Tales' exhibition in 2009. The ash version was made in 2013 in an edition of twelve, with one artist's proof. The chest of drawers acquired by the V&A is the artist's proof.

Production
Artist's proof, for an edition of 12 ash chests of drawers.



Prototypes relating to the 'George' chest of drawers (and to Neal's earlier 'Anne' table) have also been acquired by the Museum (see W.6-2016, W.7-2016, W.8-2016, W.9-2016).

Summary
This chest of drawers was made using a combination of computer-controlled (CNC) cutting and hand chiselling. The two techniques create the effect of a rectangular chest of drawers, underneath which sits the sinous form of an 18th-century commode. Gareth Neal is trained in traditional cabinet-making techniques, but embraces modern joinery design methods. "Tools are tools" he says, "whether digital or hand tools. Nothing is simple about either of them".
Associated Objects
Collection
Accession Number
W.14-2013

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record createdSeptember 4, 2013
Record URL