Contemporary Shelf

December 7, 2017

I started to translate my card models into metal. I made a few little aluminium 'cube' forms just to try and figure out what was the best way to go about the making of the shelf, what techniques would work and what would make the shelf be as functional as possible. 


I soon started to hate aluminium, I think I got so used to using copper in the previous project I wanted to work with it again. In my head my shelf was always going to be made out of copper, I love copper interior products and it is very on trend at the moment. I did however come across a lot of problems whilst using it...


I was using 0.9mm copper, it was so heavy, the piece I was working with was on a tiny scale (it must have been around 30cm x 20cm roughly- which cost around £7 to buy, which is fine but when it was going to be 6x the size, it'd become very costly.) I thought from this point that it would be too heavy to practically work as a shelf. However I carried on with high hopes. I spent hours marking out and acuratley measuring angles; then I started to saw pierce. The saws weren't big enough to get around the areas I needed too, so I had to saw at a really awkward angle which was both uncomfortable and kept snapping my blades, so that was another issue.


I managed to cut out one 'strip', I scored the edges and folded the square up to create the form. Because the metal was so thick  the edges were no where near as crisp as I wanted, not even slightly; and it was so hard to fold them up, not matter how much I scored the metal. It was at this point I started to give up. The next strip was even thinner in width so I would have the same bending problem but x100! So after this I decided I wouldn't waste anymore time and would put this one to the side. 


I returned to the aluminium, its much lighter, cheaper and easier to work with on a larger scale. 

 This is my first 'proper' mock up using aluminium. I have been testing different scales, edge finishes (round edges, filed, not filed etc) just to get an idea of the finished look I am after.


I wanted to incorporate my horse hair in some way so I would be able to use the shelf to present some of my wedgwood samples. I wanted it to still have a clean and contemporary aesthetic yet have a handmade and intricate element also. 


The horse hair in this is actually helping to hold the cube in place. Due to the structure the top edge was leaning away from the back of the shelf, it wouldn't sit as flush as I wanted. The horse hair helps it to sit where I needed it to. 


I am really happy with how it looks, i'd like the edges to be quite clean I think and possibly square not rounded. 


Here I was looking how the ideas would look mounted on the wall. I am currently in the process of decided wether I will have one big shelf or whether they will be smaller pieces that come together as a collection (so customers would be able to keep buying small shelves to add to a much larger wall mounted collection)


This is where I am at at the minute:

 I have made 2 scaled up versions of my shelf. If i decide to do a large shelf out of one piece, rather than the smaller ones, I will have many of the above forms, these are just small 'extracts.' I am also currently trying to decide whether to stitch the square down using neat crosses (right side) or stitch it randomly (left side).



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© 2017 created by Alexandra Brennan