Bronze Poly Chair by Max Lamb


British designer Max Lamb has sent photos and text explaining the making of his Bronze Poly Chair, a recent design that involves hand-carving a polystyrene chair and then casting it in bronze.

The project combines techniques from two of his previous projects, Pewter Stool and Polystyrene Chair.

Lamb calls the casting process "lost foam", as it is similar to the lost wax technique but substitutes a wax original for one of expanded polystyrene.

Lamb exhibited the chairs at Design Miami in December with the Johnson Trading Gallery of New York.

Here's the text from Lamb:


Sacrifice and Investment - Bronze Poly Chair

A series of unique chairs cast in Bronze using the 'lost foam' casting process.

The Bronze Poly Chair combines two processes I have explored in previous projects - my Pewter Stool that was cast directly into a hand-carved mould on a sandy beach in Cornwall, and my Polystyrene Chair that is carved from a solid block of low density expanded polystyrene (98% air) and then coated in rubber.

Each Bronze Poly Chair is hand-sculpted in polystyrene foam and then buried in sand ready to be sacrificed.

Ingots of bronze are heated to over 1100 degrees C and the 'red hot' molten metal is poured through the sprue into the sand, consuming the delicate foam and investing the hidden cavity in bronze.

Over two hours of waiting and the solid bronze replica of the foam object is broken from the sand.

With only one attempt to invest the foam in bronze, every sacrifice is a risk.

Successful or not, each casting requires a new foam pattern ensuring no two chairs are the same.

Posted on Monday January 21st 2008 at 2:52 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Musty

    Incredible work, Max Lamb continues to produce! I bet they are heavy.

  • Gordon

    I love the texture! Fascinating process…

  • Elliot Brook

    Nice work Maxwell… Dan reckons it’d hurt your arse though!

  • Jack

    Fantastic. The one in Miami had a really nice scale.

  • ado san

    excellent. excellent. excellent dude.

  • Andrew

    Beautiful, but I wonder how heavy/uncomfortable it would be.

  • I love the texture – but the shape is so default.

  • hamilton

    fascinating but yes, default, and ouch

  • togon

    One word, Gross.

  • fling

    Awful looking, bronze or not. Plus this form of casting is the quickest and cheapest method.

  • Eva

    There is something about this guy’s work that looks to me like it was designed by a middle-aged lady, not a young person.. not that cool. Rather kind of crafty/ugly.

    good efforts- but not really makin’ it, I feel.

  • S.H

    I disagree…
    Maybe the designer is not trying to be ‘cool’.
    He is exploring a process not usually deployed in furniture making so that he can make small one-off pieces without the need of expensive tooling/ manafacturing techniques.
    Maybe this is why the shape is considered ‘default’ – why make a crazy form that would fight against the process of a beautiful, long-lasting material like bronze?
    3 words, nice and heavy

  • mali

    Beautiful, progressive and creative sculpture.. This artist is the real deal, a cross between Paul Evans and Harry Bertoia. Congratulations!

  • Peter Alderweireld

    Genius, and im glad work like yours gets the attention it deserves.

    Brad knows wat the good stuff is xD