RMIT Year 2, Semester 1, Silversmithing #2

9 01 2012

It’s pretty quiet in the world of exhibitions in January, therefore I thought I’d write another story about my RMIT work. Plus, it brings back wonderful memories.

Second year, first semester, Silversmithing, project #2: ‘Recycling an Idea

Project brief: “Using an object that already exists, effect some type of change that will improve the ‘performance’ of that object. The reading of ‘performance’ may be expressed in terms of function, metaphor, emotion, humour, environmental or other concepts of your choosing.

I very very very much dislike smoking. Therefore very early in the ideation of this project I knew I wanted to amend a cigarette holder so that it no longer worked. Happily I found a beautiful one in a local antique store.

original cigarette holder

I made a little plug (on a lathe, in brass to match the original finish of the holder above) and a collar (from copper chenier cut and soldered together and powder-coated in black) – it is inserted into the cigarette holder to make it no longer effective.

in working; image not to be reproduced without permission

Recycling; image not to be reproduced without permission

More than that though, I wanted to make a box for it to all live in … the kind of fitted case that accompanied high-end glamour pieces in the twenties and thirties. I cast two pieces, the top and bottom of the box-to-be, in a container with black two-part plastic.

Then I machined the spaces for them to fit into (bottom piece) and for the tapestry (top piece) … using a big crazy piece of machinery I no longer remember the name of!

plastic; bottom

Then I had the top of the bottom, and the underneath of the top, and the plug too (so it would fit snuggly) flocked.

working; image not to reproduced without permission

From the cigarette holder I made the new piece of tapestry for the top of the new box – I wanted the box to look like it was made for the original piece. The design of the long strip is an exact replica of the original.

Recycling; image not to be reproduced without permission

Again, I enjoyed this project so much … I used materials and processes I hadn’t used before. The cheeky subversiveness is appealing too.

… last post: RMIT Year 2, Semester 1, Silversmithing #1


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