|The Birdsmouth Table is a highly functional and symbolic piece. It incorporates a central tool of empire, the mast, into a beautiful jewellery-like element that punctuates the Chippendale inspired tabletop at each of the leg standing points. The table has eight legs, each with a brass castor, and six drawers lined with kangaroo skin.||
The Birdsmouth Table takes its name from the Birdsmouth mast, which was invented in the mid nineteenth century. The hollowness of the mast enables a lighter, yet still strong design that is still being used for small boats today.
The Birdsmouth Table legs, manufactured in exactly the same way as the mast, bring a design element of the colonial period into playful use. The colours of the legs continue designer Adam Goodrum's passion for bright colours, and match those used in navy signal flags.
Ships were a central tool in the expansion and maintenance of colonial empires. Goodrum was struck by Robert Hughes' assertion in The Fatal Shore that 'In eighteenth-century strategy, pine trees [for masts] and flax [for sails] had the naval importance that oil and uranium hold today.'
The sandwich tabletop design, with its six drawers and eight legs, pays homage to the Chippendale table. Elements of consoles, side and dining tables are brought together in Goodrum's design.
The drawers are also a nod to the practice of designers from the period, most notably John Claudius Loudon (1783-1843), to make all objects highly functional while retaining ornamental elements. Loudon's An Encyclopedia of Cottage, Farm and Villa Architecture and Furniture can be read as one in a long line of design manifestos aspiring to combine functionality and beauty in domestic environments for the masses:
The Birdsmouth Table develops the dominant trend in high-design tables, of minimalist sculptural statements with the tabletop being the only functional element, in its incorporation of moving elements - in this instance six drawers and castors. By carefully uniting a selection of mechanical and formal influences Adam Goodrum has created a table that is mobile, eccentric and highly functional.
Adam Goodrum's obsession with mechanism-based furniture and object design has resulted in a widespread media fascination with his work. Goodrum's research for the Broached Colonial commission uncovered a treasure-trove of mechanisms from history to integrate into his design practice on an ongoing basis.
Goodrum is probably best known for the collapsible Stitch Chair, which is manufactured by Cappellini and is in permanent collection at The Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Stitch Chair was also included in the 2008 London Design Museum's Best Designs category. Goodrum's Tsunami Bowl, made entirely from chopsticks, is in the permanent collection of the Ghent Design Museum, Belgium. A collection of Boab glass designs - named after the tree that populates his home state of Western Australia - is manufactured by Vert Design, Australia.
Adam Goodrum is a founding designer of Broached Commissions.
Dirk Leuschner, Woodcraft Mobiliar
Dirk Leuschner, director of Woodcraft Mobiliar, is a specialist in wood furniture, servicing some of the most highly regarded design stores in Australia. The Melbourne based Woodcraft Mobiliar workshop is equipped with a mixture of modern and traditional wood working machines, catering to any kind of project. Woodcraft Mobiliar understand the effective use of solid timber in combination with classic veneers, and the necessity of rigorous attention to detail.
Leuschner began training at the age of sixteen, undertaking a traditional German apprenticeship. At age twenty-four, Leuschner opened his first cabinet-making factory, which grew to encompass an antique house in Germany. Throughout his career he has sought the most detailed, often extremely complex projects, to develop his understanding of the malleability and interesting use of wood.
So far, small projects have included: creating the entire fit out of a luxury yacht in Indian Mahogany; the restoration and French Polish of a Biedermeier Secretaire in European Cherry; and an interior fit out including bedroom furniture, sideboard, wardrobe and Tall Boy in Birdseye Maple and Wenge with veneer inlays. Larger projects of note include: managing the restoration of the timber work at The Supreme Court of Victoria; heritage listed restoration and rebuild of furniture in the State Library of Victoria's Domed Reading Room; building of a Japanese chamber in Oregon Pine with book matched veneered panel ceiling, shoji screens, tatamis framed in solid Oregon Pine, table and a little temple.
Legs and castors made by Buna Precision
Buna Precision specialises in the prototyping and production of bespoke design for designers, artists and filmmakers. Buna Precision contributed extensive expertise in material selection, in the specification of manufacturing processes for the Birdsmouth Table legs.
Buna Precision delivers complex design solutions to everything from the film industry - for example a faithful replica of a WWII sniper rifle - to the fabrication of the most intricate public art sculpture for some of the world's leading artists.