Saturday, May 28, 2011

Now with the move into my new residence completed, I'm glad to be returning to the woodshop to continue the design and fabrication of new items. At this point I'm focusing on a change of scale for my work. This is in part due to the huge amount of work that goes into the production of the larger pieces I've produced, but also, and perhaps more importantly, this change of scale reflects a response to the material that I use in its "raw" form.

Due to the size and shape of the material when I rescue it from the dumpster, there is usually a fair amount of energy and effort that goes into creating useful objects. There is simply a lot of cutting and clamping that makes each piece quite labor-intensive. My new approach reverses my typical tack of creating a design and then finding a way to build it from the limited sizes and shapes available to me. Instead, I am now examining the wastestream available to me and working within the parameters and limitations of the actual material sizes to realize new ideas with the least fabrication input. Working smarter, not harder.

Current designs on my desk reflect the native shapes of the waste as they usually appear at the back door of the factory headed to the trash. Utilizing the most common shapes available has revealed an entirely new type and range of objects that can be made much more easily than those I've made before. From the perspective of fabrication, it makes my life much simpler, speeding the process completely. However, from the perspective of design awareness, it has completely blown the doors off of my way of thinking. I have always enjoyed the challenge of visual design. However, the curious fact about this new development is that it aligns the entire process with that of TRULY sustainable thinking: make the absolute most of the materials available with the least amount of energy and time, producing a product from waste that will stand the test of time and wear while cultivating a positive user/object relationship that results in years of useful service.

Foot prints on the moon...:)

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