Artist Spotlight: Emily Makarainen

Recently, I spoke with Emily Makarainen, a senior design student at the University of Connecticut. While Emily is busily preparing for her senior project final, she was gracious enough to offer me a little more insight on her project, titled “Unfolding Dimension”—a project that includes “a small book, a large poster, and a handcrafted white oak table directly inspired by one of the forms.”

When Emily and I first met, I was immediately attracted to her project which involved creating a functional piece of furniture using shapes and forms found in nature, such as crystals. As a lover of natural beauty, I was intrigued by the idea of creating a man-made artifact inspired solely by the natural.

Since then, however, Emily’s project has changed significantly. In her own words:

“My project now explores form and the relationship between the 3D and the 2D. To do that, I folded a grid into 100 pieces of 8×8″ paper, and created 100 unique tables and chairs. I started to fold the forms without using the grid, but it was hard to control and difficult to do, so by using the same 16-fold grid, each piece can relate to one another.”lrr1Then: “Once I had 100 pieces, I photographed them, edited the images into black and white, and created vector images of each one.”

lrr2Finally: “Before spring break, I chose one of my pieces to make as a real physical object, and so the last piece of my project is the table. The table is a white oak, whitewashed coffee table – 50″ x 18″ x 25″.”

To get a more complete vision of Emily’s project be sure to check out her blog: and her website:

Have you ever attempted to create something similar, or is this unlike anything you’ve ever seen? Let us know in the comments below!

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