Are you watching Ellen’s Design Challenge? We’re going behind the scenes of the show’s second episode with carpenter Chip Wade to find out what you didn’t see on TV. Read on to see Chip’s surprising answers, and ask him all your EDC questions.
The judges mentioned that the piece you and Tim created was very masculine. Did you guys talk through that challenge during the design process at all?
The judges did comment that are piece was masculine. Saying it was “too” masculine would not really make any sense, as our goal as designers/builders and competitors is not make ever piece gender neutral and safe. In fact, what you don’t see in the cut of the show is that very conversation. The piece did have a bend toward weight and warmer tones, but it was thematic for the piece we were making (a bar). The judges had a comment in the show about knocking the glasses with you knees when you sit. What did not get covered for everyone to see was our rebuttal, the glasses are stored on the service side where you stand, not the bar side where you will likely pull up a chair. Tim and I were overwhelmingly on the same page for this piece, we both loved it and believed it showed innovation and craftsmanship, especially fro the 2 day build time. We were very confident about the form of our piece against all the other designs.
Can you tell us anything more about the construction of Katie and Karl’s winning piece?
Katie and Karl’s piece was certainly iconic looking (and quite feminine looking) if that is a criteria, haha. I think Karl did an amazing job of putting this piece together with the materials he had to work with. Katie was adamant about using acrylic again in challenge 2. Acrylic is a very difficult material to machine very cleanly in compressed time frames. Difficult machinability, coupled with being a large scale and an irregular geometry made this piece more of a “prototype” piece, like a concept car, than a full production piece. They did get it to a point that was good enough to wow the judges and take home the win on challenge two. Well done!
Leslie’s piece had one big design flaw — no rails on the changing table. Did others on the set try to warn her before judging?
There was definitely discussion about this matter prior to judging. Having a piece that functions well for its purpose was the core of this challenge. The designers are always having to weigh the balance between form and function.
There must have been a lot of waiting on elimination days! What were some of the favorite ways to pass the time among the carpenters and the contestants?
You have no idea! The judging time and other times when the designers and carpenters were separated on set often reached periods of multiple hours in a row. The carpenters got to know each other very well. We told jokes and tried to be creative in order to pass the time, time we wished we could be working on the next challenge.
How many cameras were typically filming each scene? How many crew members were there on set?
It would really blow your mind to feel what is was like to experience all the cameras and crew that were present for 3 weeks. On a typical HGTV show, most shooting days are just 1 camera or possibly 2 camera days with occasional extra production horsepower at a reveal. The Ellen’s Design Challenge set, we could go nowhere without being seen and heard by multiple cameras! If I had to guess, the most production crew and executives I saw on set must have easily reached 75 to 100 people beyond the contestants and carpenters.
Do you have a question for Chip about Ellen’s Design Challenge? Leave a comment below — and don’t forget to watch a new episode tonight at 9 pm | 8c.