Eames Inspired Lynx Tommy Antoine
The Goal of the assignment was to choose an animal and abstract it much like the Eames elephant. (below) The elephant was predominantly made as a seat for children to play with. So the design had to look like it belonged in that category. It had to be two pieces but no more than three and joined by a rivet.
I decided to work towards two animals and pick the best one for my abstraction. These were the lynx and the walrus. Two very different animals with different characteristics.
Sketches and Ideation
Sketching The Lynx and the Walrus was the next step. It included some motion studies, the animals in their natural state as well as trying to figure out their most recognizable traits. This was also done to figure out which animal would ultimately be chosen.
The Walrus I studied the walrus closely and made some different sketch models. The abstraction of the walrus didnâ€™t seem as challenging as the lynx. There were fewer curves to account for so the dominant traits would have to be really apparent. A walrus in itself is already abstract enough for the goals of this assignment.
The Lynx The Animal selected for my abstraction was the lynx. For the next step, I chose a few images of how the lynx moves, Interacts with its environment and hunts its prey. The most important thing was finding unique features that would distinguish the lynx from other big cats. Traits such as the big paws and the tuft on top of their ears.
A few poses for the lynx were then studied and abstracted as sketch models in Bristol to get an idea of how it would actually look, what curves to refine and what poses works the best.
Once I figured out the proper body position for the lynx I did a foam-core model with the curves a little more refined with the best lines in place. The face although getting there was yet to be resolved. The fur that hangs on the side of the face was too big and sagging. The ears were asymmetrical and the abstraction of the nose was unnatural. So I went back to the drawing board and sketched some more.
Making the acrylic models was a matter of figuring out which heating and bending method would work the best. Those methods included the strip heater and the oven. Keeping the body and the head symmetrical was the most important. The errors in bending are easily noticeable.
Sometimes I had to go back to Bristol to correct some lines since it is a cheaper material. The abstraction was getting close to being resolved. The face was still not quite conclusive; it was definitely abstracted a little too much.
Bending the head of the animal all depended on the technique. I had to be very attentive to each curve. I quickly moved on from the strip heater to making a mold thus being able to form the acrylic over it instead of having straight line bents on the face. Overall I kept going back and forth from Bristol to acrylic until I got the right face. Once I had that resolved it was time to advance to the final.
Black and white final versions of my abstracted lynx.
My final model next to the abstracted Eames elephant.
When I got the opportunity to go back and improve my lynx abstraction. I took the liberty of refining some of the lines, fixing the tail and making the front paw look more believable, and refining the face. The previous model was also leaning to the side a bit that was also fixed.