Craft & Design Energy & Sustainability Furniture & Lighting
Furniture Made From Close-Packed Tennis Balls

Actually these HEX chairs from designer Hugh Hayden made the rounds back in 2009, but they’re just now coming across my radar via this round-up of tennis ball furniture that recently tripped one of my Google auto-alerts. There are plenty of unusual chairs in the world, and though I like these better than many, I’m more interested in Hayden’s process for joining the tennis balls together.

He has done pretty well selling them, I think, so it’s perhaps understandable that Hayden hasn’t published an Instructable giving away all his secrets just yet. This quote, from Sarah Thurmond’s article on Hayden from TENNIS.com, however, gives a strong hit:

The collection, introduced in May, includes pieces made entirely out of tennis balls that are bound together with non-stretchy polyester cord. They’re constructed using a hexagonal grid configuration, which is where the name HEX comes from.

Between that and some time spent staring at the photos, I’m betting the individual tennis balls are pierced, close packed against a form, and sewn together with internal cordage. The title picture is from this post over at Inhabit, which also includes an “action” shot of the chair under a person’s weight.

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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