I started off with the presentation of past work, attempting to pull threads that I might be able to follow throughout the semester. Looking at my work I decided to continue looking at how tools function, how we use tools, and resolved to explore my interests in the customization and personalization of tools.
Tom Jennings work has been really interesting to follow and his ideas of wabi tek sabi have been a source of inspiration, informing an interest in the ways in which we interact with tools and how tools shape our interactions with the world.
“wabi tek sabi is a way of seeing and living with human craft and technology. like the japanese idea of wabi sabi it has much to do with aesthetics and pleasure, but it is mainly a way to look at, work with, and live with, technology.”
Tom Jenning’s work on his rambler roadster was an introduction to the world of hotrodding and led me to do more research into hotrod culture. Ideas on how to reduce weight were embodied in my design of a cast iron leg for the rolling mill I built earlier in the semester.
In my research into hot rod culture I came across the practice of drilling holes in into various parts of the cars in order to reduce weight. The shape of the circle allows the material to retain strength while greatly reducing the weight of the components.
More research on the possibility of forms that would allow me to merge aesthetic and function in an attempt to construct a leg that could support the press but wouldn’t increase the weight of the tool too much. I spotted the table at the Polich Tallix foundry, and the bench is one of many that line the streets of Louisville Kentucky.
The process of making the leg, following the images clockwise there is the making of the mold for casting, the divesting of the casting, the press before adding the leg, and the finished press after being painted.
Continuing with this idea of customizing tool and the construction of a shop I decided to create a swage block. The form of the swage block provided an excellent platform to create a custom tool. I chose to cast it in steel in the interest of increasing its resistance to shock, and included some fairly unique features like channels that could be used to dress various sizes of hexagons and faces that could be used to form funnels or tapered tubes, as well as various forms for creating different shapes of spoon and ladle. The swage block is a great form for the customization and personalization of tools and it’s an interesting object to boot. Clockwise there is the casting of my swage block, the milling of the faces in the CNC mill, and the finished swage block.
Work made during Junior Sculpture Foundry Fall '15 with Professor Coral Penelope Lambert