Iron & Metal - The Makinbg Of a Spring

Sunball Easy Chair

 

Designed by Gunter Ferdinand Ris & Herbert Selldorf in 1969-1972, it was produced by the renowned ceramics manufacturer, Rosenthal of Selb, Germany. Made of fibreglass, aluminum, and steel, the interior has a multicolor Suede upholstery, stereo, swiveling black plastic shelves 5'6" W x 4'11" H (167cm W x 150 cm H). About 30 of the Sunball Chairs were produced, in white, yellow, and other colors at the end of the 1960's and first few years of the 1970's. Designed for outdoor or interior use. Two quarter spherical swiveling sections are hinged on massive counterbalancing clock springs and can be secured open or closed with a manual twisting lock. The Space Age Sunball resembles an astronaut helmet, or Pac Man. The hinges are primarily lathe turned of steel and aluminum. The ball rests on a rotating base. One was recently sold at Sotheby's for 24,500 GBP on Sept. 27, 2007, and another was offered at the Palais Dorotheum auction on Dec. 24, 2009.

The Sunball Chair was brought to us by a modern furniture gallery, that had bought the chair missing most of one of the hinges, locking mechanism, hinge covers. The hinge contains a massive "clock spring" which counterbalances the weight of the fiberglass canopy that swings open or closed, and is adjustable from inside.

Sunball Easy Chair, designed by Gunter Ferdinand Ris & Herbert Selldorf,  produced by Rosenthal, Germany. Fiberglass

This is the restored Sunball Chair, that arrived at our shop in pieces, missing more than half the hardware.

Sunball Easy Chair, designed by Gunter Ferdinand Ris & Herbert Selldorf,  produced by Rosenthal, Germany. Fiberglass

This is a new hinge and plate fabricated in our shop, replicating the original production

Sunball Easy Chair, designed by Gunter Ferdinand Ris & Herbert Selldorf,  produced by Rosenthal, Germany. Fiberglass

The hinge was heated in a forge and bent on a custom jig.

Sunball Easy Chair, designed by Gunter Ferdinand Ris & Herbert Selldorf,  produced by Rosenthal, Germany. Fiberglass

See how this spring is fabricated in a forge, and tempering and annealing: http://www.oleklejbzon.com/gallery100.html?Click.x=147&Click.y=55

Sunball Easy Chair, designed by Gunter Ferdinand Ris & Herbert Selldorf,  produced by Rosenthal, Germany. Fiberglass

The hinge covers are lathe turned of solid aluminum stock.

Sunball Easy Chair, designed by Gunter Ferdinand Ris & Herbert Selldorf,  produced by Rosenthal, Germany. Fiberglass

Two fiberglass canopies swivel to afford privacy in this outdoor furniture complete with stereo.

Sunball Easy Chair, designed by Gunter Ferdinand Ris & Herbert Selldorf,  produced by Rosenthal, Germany. Fiberglass

Original spring hinge housing remaining, with new shaft for locking canopies in position

Sunball Easy Chair, designed by Gunter Ferdinand Ris & Herbert Selldorf,  produced by Rosenthal, Germany. Fiberglass

Fabrication of a hinge spring mounting plate

Sunball Easy Chair, designed by Gunter Ferdinand Ris & Herbert Selldorf,  produced by Rosenthal, Germany. Fiberglass
Sunball Easy Chair, designed by Gunter Ferdinand Ris & Herbert Selldorf,  produced by Rosenthal, Germany. Fiberglass

Sunball chair without most of loveseat, showing internal structure. The locking handle is a vice-like mechanism visible on the inside of the far side hinge.



By Peter Triestman

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