Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Alphabet A

In 2009 I build the Alphabet series. Alphabet A was one of these.
The Alphabet series was the product of a collaboration between a calligraphy master Heleen de Haas and myself. We set about exploring the letter in a 3d form.  Out of the collaboration came a font designed by Heleen. This was converted into a PC font, which formed the base for the alphabet series. We then set about developing sculptures, using the designed font.
Alphabet A is a ceramic alphabet set. It represents the alphabet, divided in different letter families. A letter family is made up of letters that share unique features. For example, the letters m n and r are all part of the same family as they are formed and drawn in the same way.  We devised a unique look for each family and I made, fired and glazed each letter. Each letter stands about 10 cm tall.
Alphabet A was displayed at a joint exhibition of the “Cape Friends of Calligraphy” society held at the artB gallery in 2009.
The set is currently for sale for R5000 (excl. shipping, 2015 price).

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pirate's Medallion

For Christmas 2014 I decided to make a replica of the pirate's medallion, from the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean", for my sisters and my nieces. The size and plans for the medallion were sourced on-line. Both sides of the medallion where sculpted separately. The method to create one medallion with two sides was to cast the set of front and back sides. Once they cured and were released, another set of front and back was cast. The previous pair was then set into the wet resin back to back. When cured you ended up with two medallions.
Thin soldering wire was used to form the wire pattern on the front. The rest was done in plasticine clay. I used raw linseed oil to smooth the clay down.
A silicon mold was cast over the clay positives. The silicon mold turned out pitted with air bubbles. This could be because of the fine detail, but I have a suspicion it is because of the linseed oil. All the holes had to be filled with builders silicon.
The final medallions were cast in a two part polyurethane resin with brass filling. This was weathered and a chain link added.

Sculpting the two sides of the medallion

The first casting from the mold

Weathered and ready for the chain

The bronze medallion next to some silver coins from the same mold

Final product

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sleeper bench

I got a bunch of sleeper off cuts from a woodworker. From these this bench was made. 
The blocks was sorted and stacked so that the tops line up. Hole positions where marked and drilled for the threaded bars that runs through the stack. The wood was glued using waterproof wood glue and assembled.  
It is a simple build that raised a number of unexpected problems.  Each inside sections of the bench is made up of a pair of blocks. The wooden blocks are not the same thickness so there was a lot of time spend sorting them. Once the holes where drilled and you start stacking, you realize they don't line up. With wood this thickness, that means a lot of mallet-ing was needed.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Restoring a WW2 headset

I got a set of ww2 era headphones for Christmas. They where pretty beat-up so I set out to restore them. I did not want them function in the way they originally did, but to use them as the chassis for modern speakers and innards, similar toe the my previous headphone build here
First, all the parts was disassembled, cleaned, the speaker innards was removed and new leather straps fitted to the head wires.

Headset in original condition

Bakelite earpiece in original condition

Inner workings

Leather straps cut

Leather straps sewed

All the metal parts cleaned ready for assembly

The assembled head piece

Cleaned speaker housings, solid brass!
Next a broken pair of headphones was cannibalized for the speakers. To fit them to the speaker housing a pair of plastic "cups" was modified. These cups was scavenged from a toy gun that I bought at a flea market. The cable was loosely plaited using a four wire round plait. The parts that fit into the speaker housing was connected by hot connectors. The audio jack took forever to solder as I was learning on the job and figuring out things I did wrong on the previous build.
At the end, all the parts got assembled and it finally worked!

Speakers form a pair of Logitech earphones

The modified v/s unmodified cup

The speakers got sanded round, ready for assembly

The final product

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Backpack Duffelbag

A while back I got a commission to make a duffel bag for a hiking backpack. The client wanted to use the backpack on a trip through Africa, but needed to have it covered for the flight to the beginning destination as well as for his travels by bus. It had to be strong, durable, easy to carry, with no excessive straps and it should fit the backpack snugly. It should also be easy to lock.

I made him this canvas duffel bag. The strap over the top and around the waist is adjustable ensuring a snug fit. The top opening is locked with a padlock and the whole thing is easy to carry with the adjustable straps.

The final product

The top opening is secured with a padlock

The backpack fits snugly thanks to the adjustable straps