PerhapsLabs is dedicated to the pursuit of experimentation-driven design. Through trial and error, questioning the limits of form, and the willingness to play and explore, to fail and start over, the object takes shape. The story of making something should be as interesting as the object itself.

Want something you see here? Want something you have never seen?

My new site cottinghamstudio.com (a work in progress)

Contact: cottinghamstudio@gmail.com


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Some prefer clean, controlled lines, rendering and mass production. Others create things slowly over time, allowing design to evolve, working with hands not computers, embracing forces of chance. Both methods are valid, and can produce stunning work. I have chosen the latter.

I had spent the better part of the year committed to exploring this method of design and making, focused on design by drip - a blend of chaos and control.

Inspired by the formation of stalactites, I set out on a experimental path and fell upon the idea of dripping and accumulation. This method would allow the drip to grow as if it had a life of its own outside of my control. As each drop of wax fell it would settle and harden as it pleased. It was more like a balancing act than my other work, and I was more an observer of the process. The end result was then cast in metal with almost no intervention to the shapes that gravity had made. The name Oroboros refers to the symbol of the snake eating its tail, both creation and destruction, an endless cycle of life and death. This name sums up both the why and the how that led to the making of this collection.

chair, 29" high, 29" deep, 22" wide
lamp, 38" long, 10" diameter
table, 14" tall, 18" diameter

Contact me, cottinghamstudio@gmail.com for inquiries.

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While still in school I had been asked to be a teachers assistant for the Installation Design course. I worked closely with the handful of students that signed up for the class to develop extremely cheap large scale installations meant to be aesthetically pleasing yet spatially disruptive.

This project suspended with fishing line and made of folded paper, hung for a week over a staircase and filtered the light from the skylight above.

I may have a a problem - I can't stop making chairs. Each chair I make leads me to the next one. This is how I work, inspiration and iteration.

Some of the chairs I have made were for specific clients or for niche needs. Many of the chairs I have made so far were just to see what I could do with what I had lying around.

Most often I find that halfway through one chair, another one starts to take shape.

Above is a modular seating system that was the result of the year long "Teen Art Park" studio. This was designed for an urban after-school art program and used off the shelf components. Below is an example of one of my sketch chairs. I have decided the next version will be a total material flip, with a wood seat and metal frame.

Some of my favorite projects never leave the studio. This couch was part leftover from something I made for another artist, and part because we desperately needed someplace to nap in our studio.

A lot of studio furniture later becomes the foundation of other projects, and often not necessarily furniture. I think, for me, I need to make things - otherwise I don't know what I can and can't do.

This is play. This is just for fun. And when you are done, you can always sell it to photographers. They love the crazy stuff ;)

The bucket stool ended up being an adorable way to use all the leftover paint buckets left by the dumpsters after one of the floors of the building had been renovated. I will be turning this into a kit of sorts that folks can use on their own leftover buckets

Using nylon cord as a caning seat material was an ongoing experiment for me. I know others have done it, and better, no doubt. But I find that I like to wrap my hands around the the techniques that came before me. I want their callouses on my hands - how else can one learn and grow in one’s craft?

Models in the computer are aspirational, a lovely fiction. More often than not after I have roughed out the basic form of something in the computer I like to move to a material sketch. I love a nice rendered image, don't get me wrong. And I am always working to improve that skill. But I like to know what the material can do, without forcing it. The wood or steel will go as far as it wants. The computer will lie - it will render a line that the wood will not give you, that the steel will fight. In the real material the slightest mistake can be reworked to be the highlight of the piece. I can see that the way I work is building into a library of experience and that as I go forward I will be able to know what oak will do that ash will not and how to have hickory meet mild steel in a way that feels natural.

I have most recently been been influenced by traditional American craft and the forms found in the woods.

And sometimes you just have to make a chair that is part deer and part Windsor.

Inspired by a 1937 “class of multi-symmetric polyhedra” introduced by Michael Goldberg and published by Joseph D. Clinton. I will be making these with a 1/8th inch thick plywood that has a copper leaf backing. The individual parts will be attached with copper rings.

I was asked to work with a designer from Glow Studio to fabricate these two lovely lights for the I. Martin bike shop in Los Angeles. The parts were all provided by the shop and I only had to make just a few small adjustments from the original design.