Jasper began work on the Wing-nut and Laundry Box Chairs in his final year at the Royal College of Art, in conjunction with the Moulded Plywood Chair. They came about when he found a factory specialised in producing laundry boxes. Laundry boxes were widely used at the time to send sheets in bulk to commercial laundries. They were made of a compressed and pre-finished fibreboard. In the factory four men used four machines to make laundry boxes at speed. From this, Jasper conceived the idea for the Laundry Box Chair. He originally made the Wing-nut Chair as a demonstration model for the Laundry Box Chair, describing it as an experiment with materials which when combined bring about a kind of poetry.
He explained at the time: The chair evolved from a series of origami-like folding experiments, the original intention being to achieve maximum structural strength with minimum material.
Jasper presented the Laundry Box Chair, the Wing-nut Chair and the Moulded Plywood Chair at his degree show in June 1985. He went on to make and sell about eight Wing-nut Chairs between 1985 and 1988, priced at £80. The Laundry Box Chair – made at the specialist factory – was only ever a prototype. He also made a cardboard model of the chair which was not for sale despite requests.
Rolf Fehlbaum purchased a Wing-nut Chair in spring 1988. By then the chair’s production days had already ended, because as Jasper explained at the time: They’ve changed the board material to an unpleasant shade of brown. It could be made in MDF but I feel it’s time I moved on to newer projects.
Jasper wrote the following instructions for the construction of a Wing-nut Chair in 2020.