Vástago is the Spanish word for stem. My lamp project is inspired by organic systems of stems and leaves found in nature. My goal with Vástago was to design a product that is easy to assemble after many pieces are lasercut. Secondly, I hoped to challenge the scope of a lasercutter by producing detailed cuts and giving wood a flexible property.
The lamp was fabricated with white, translucent polypropylene and 1/8" Baltic Birch plywood.
First, I designed a series of 'stems' and 'leaves' that could be scaled to vary the span of each tier/layer. The 'leaves' were bent into shape and adhered to a central node of stems (one piece). The 4 rows/tiers were layered by sliding the central ring down 4 fixed columns that acted as dowels. This means that friction holds each layer; they can slide up or down to adjust the desired density of the leaves.
The concept of a stem and leaf system implies that the leaf size or even the size of the stack can be scaled up or down. Given the size constraints on this specific project, this stack is 4 tiers of varying radii.
A live hinge technique is used on the wooden 'leaves'. The 'leaves' are flexible because the laser cutter placed many parallel cuts. The accumulation of the tiny gaps allow this otherwise, rigid, material to bend.
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