Cold Cuts Coasters

From Archive | Chen Chen & Kai Williams
Jump to: navigation, search
Cold Cuts Coasters
CK-Cold Cuts 2011 1.jpg
Design Year: 2011
Materials: Urethane resin, wood, spandex, epoxy clay, rope and various other materials
Manufacturer: Studio Produced

Cold Cuts Coasters are the first collaborative work made by Chen Chen and Kai Williams and predates the official formation of Chen Chen & Kai Williams as a company. The inspiration came from standing in line at the deli counter watching the meat get sliced. The original goal was to create a bracelet that could be cut to width at the point of sale based on the specifications of the customer. This was abandoned as the process was too messy.

This is the first composite material that the studio produced and although marketed and sold as coasters, they are more of a study in combining various materials.


Spandex netting, which was around the studio from the production of Swell Vases, is dipped in urethane resin and wrapped around a core made of wood and various other materials. The large surface area of the netting allows the resin to impregnate the material faster and more evenly than a solid fabric. Once the resin cures and the netting is hardened, the resulting log is sliced on a chop saw.

To ease the handling of the log as it was being wrapped, a handle section was left exposed from the wood core. This handle was also used to brace the log against the fence of the chop saw. Not originally meant for sale, this handle resembled a ham hock and customer demand resulted in it being offered as part of a set.

The process generates random compositions. The maker can compose it to a degree but the final result cannot be fully predicted and is only revealed when cut open.


Original batches of the coasters were finished with a clear acrylic spray. As this finish was not designed for application on resin hardened fabrics, sometimes a sticky residue would form.

Since 2012 the coasters are finished with 3 coats of West Systems marine epoxy and polished to a semigloss surface.