JX8 is a twenty-seater table commissioned by ANZ and designed
and made for Foolscap Studio. The overall dimension is 6.0 x 1.6 x 0.75m - The largest table
Hugh McCarthy has ever made.
Hugh worked closely with Foolscap and their concept ‘Open
House’ to create a furniture piece to compliment the style and sophistication
of a meeting room adjacent to an open kitchen. Of all the options presented,
the four curved tops and eight extruded J shapes shown here had the right balance
of form and practicality and is closest to the earliest crude sketches in Hugh’s
sketchbook. The overall form is both playful and fluid with the manipulation of
convex and concave components.
There is a stack of woodworking techniques used in this
table, the likes of which Hugh had not attempted on this scale before. It took
up most of his workshop and was designed to be broken up, fit in a lift, and
then reassembled on site. The brass elements came later in the design process –
these are a solution to linking all the walnut components together whilst breaking
up the mass of dark brown woodiness.
This project demonstrates how designers and craftspeople can
collaborate and explore the possibilities of woodwork.