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Practice Makes Perfect at Jam Factory

The value of making prototypes to test, refine and improve ideas is the subject of an exhibition at Adelaide’s JamFactory, writes Anthony Caggiano.

Practice Makes Perfect at Jam Factory


September 2nd, 2011

Curated by Margaret Hancock, Prototyping : Making Ideas showcases the methodologies several Australian artists used to develop their products.

“The journey from ideas and sketches, through prototypes to final product, can be a long process and it is rare that just one prototype of any design is created,” Hancock said.

“Through presenting early prototypes at various stages, the exhibition plots this challenging and exciting trial and error stage.”


Illumine decanter and tumbler. Image Ashlee Page

She said it also highlights the hands-on skills of designer/makers and/or the relationships between designers and the artisans they work with to produce prototypes.

South Australian-based designer John Quan’s Flexible Desk Lamp evolved from experiments after reading an article about steam-bending timber using hot water and fabric softener.


“This particular technique did not work for Quan but the article’s description of timber as ’flexible as wet spaghetti’ intrigued him,” Hancock said.

“He started exploring ways of breaking the lignum bonds to make timber more flexible.”

The prototyped lamp has an aluminium sheet laminated between layers of timber veneer. LED lights, wiring, European beech veneer and aluminium are laminated together in a single process using a multi-part mould.

Other artists on show include JamFactory production manager Emma Aiston of DANIEL.EMMA, designers in residence Simone LeAmon and Adam Goodrum and alumni Karen Cunningham and Mandi King.


Daniel Emma D_E Collection. Image Rodrick Bond


Adam Goodrum Chatterbox sidetables. Image Paul Pavlou


Rohan Nicol Stretchlight


Main image: Simone LeAmon La Prima Ballerina. Image Andrew Curtis


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