CNC…Shopbot…whatever you want to call it, the computer numeric controlled router has revolutionized woodworking making way for faster production, incredibly precise cutting, and new forms. With these machines becoming more accessible and affordable furniture makers and designers are able to put them to use on smaller projects. Industrial designer Sam Thompson has done just that letting the robots do the rough shaping and detailed work leaving him the dirty work of sanding and hand assembly. I should say that the robots just dont have the heart and soul needed to finish the collection of warm household items that Sam has designed. Each starting with a canvas of a solid block of maple or mahogany.
Perhaps the most interesting examples of this human and non-human pairing are Thompson’s trays and bowls that have delicate smooth curves. The “45°” trays and “Big Square” bowls combine modern shapes and lines with a simple mineral oil finish to bring out the beauty of the wood and to bring beauty to any table top.
Inspired and made from a solid block of mahogany resting near Thompson’s desk, the “Brick Light” also features the natural beauty of wood and a little more of the CNC machine’s accuracy with perfectly placed holes for decorative illumination. Above is a picture showing the process from start to finish and a look at the interior fitting for the light.
Adding onto his simple and functional objects built for illumination, Thompson has also built a task lamp inspired by a match stick aptly named the “Matchstick” light. Like an ignition fuse, the bright red power cord is tucked away in the light maple body and shows just enough to give the piece a pop of color. The “Candle bar” is made of two pieces of maple machined to snap together and neatly hold four tea lights.