Colin Selig’s outdoor propane furniture engages people of all ages and backgrounds not just because of the fun and whimsical approach to function, but also because the upcycled designs are durable with an ecological message. Who wouldn’t want one of these gorgeous propane furniture designs in their garden or on their patio?
Propane Furniture used Residentially
The muses behind the propane furniture designs comes from a strange collection of artists; Gaudi for his free-flowing lines, Calder for his steel animal like sculptures, Dr. Seuss for his whimsy –and Charles Eames for his process innovations.
Colin Selig is also inspired by Victorian furniture for its asymmetrical approach as can clearly be seen in the above photo.
It all began one day when Colin was staring at an old, rusty propane tank on his own property, wondering what to do with it. Made of thick steel and full of curved forms his imagination began to formulate a plan to make use of this now derelict item and he started to devise a way to dissect the propane tank and reassemble it into a seat.
Colin was bolstered by the energy that had originally gone into the tank and he did not want that energy to go to waste, instead he wanted to expand on it and upcycle the propane tank into a new and just as useful life.
The idea of taking a utilitarian propane tank and making an ecological statement by keeping it out of the waste system and turning it into a new, improved object with a more sensuous and sophisticated form was exciting.
Colin decided to make a seat from the tank. First he made sure the propane tank on his property was purged on any remaining fuel and then he cut off the ends. Next, he welded a seat from the central portion.
After enlisting friends to check out the comfort level of his finished product Collin came up with an ergonomic form that would be comfortable to tall and short alike and in the process discovered that the curved seat and backrest provided good lumbar support for a wide range of body shapes.
After making a seat from the original propane tank Colin realized he still had enough material to make a second and then a third and even a fourth. The whole process inspired him enough to locate more salvage tanks and create additional designs.
Propane Furniture used Commercially
99% of Colin Selag’s propane furniture is post-consumer reused content that has been regionally sourced and leaves a minimal carbon footprint to fabricate.
Colin’s propane furniture is a synthesis of sculpture and sustainable design and his aesthetic is modern, abstract and organic with a sense of (Dr. Seuss) whimsy.
It stands to reason that Colin would create a propane furniture design that is an ode to Marilyn Monroe’s lips much the same way other designers have in the past.
Colin’s propane furniture is eco-friendly from start to finish but does not embody any of the tiredness from the original pieces.
Colin’s propane furniture designs are all prototypes that can be created with volume production in mind and he has been granted a series of design patents to protect his concepts.
This particular bench showcases Colin’s love of Alexander Calder and is a piece that definitely has its muse in Calder’s metal sculptures.
Colin’s hope is to inspire others to consider new possibilities for reusing materials and thereby helping conserve the planet’s natural resources.
Colin studied metal sculpting at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and apprenticed with a machinist, a race car fabricator and a public art sculptor, spending the next few years restoring a variety of antique cars.
Some of the propane tank furniture designs are influenced by his time as an antique car restorer, such as the above photo showcasing a yellow bench seat.
Colin’s muse Charles Eames – was always concerned with creating gorgeous furniture designs that could be produced in a low cost, effective manner rather than as one offs and this is Collin’s approach as well.
Colin’s muse Dr. Suess was all about the whimsy and the elongated arm rests on the yellow chair in the above photo is oh so Suess, don’t you think?
Victorian furniture is best known for its sway backs and Colin incorporates that same sway in many of his propane tank furniture designs.
While many of the propane tank furniture designs are finished in bright, bold colours, this cute little number is a soft buttery yellow.
Colin’s muse Gaudi was all about over the top detail and while these two seats are simpler than Gaudi’s work, they definitely embody the “over the top” ideal.
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