Interdisciplinary. Community. Advocacy. Humor.
Title of Project: Arcs Coffee Table
Approximate Start and End Dates: September 15, 2012 - November 15, 2012
Location of Project: Loveland, Ohio
Requested Funding amount (up to $400): $370
Outline/Goal of Project
I build steel furniture by hand-bending cold steel rod and welding it together with hand-cut steel plate. My project is a new design, a coffee table, which will have the symmetry of my four-legged side table, but with six legs. It will weigh approximately 100 lbs. To enable me to transport this table to galleries, I will also buy and install a hitch on my old Honda and rent a U-Haul trailer.
The geometry of this design is more complex than I’ve done before, and I do not use CAD software. I design on paper, and draw the leg templates freehand. I use pushpins and string to draw the full-size pattern of the elliptical top. I use only hand-held tools, and, as I don’t have a bandsaw, I have my tabletops cut by hand at a local machine shop.
I am self-taught, except for two classes in basic welding. I started developing my tables in late 2011, and now have a family of three designs.
In return for the grant, I will document my process through pictures and captions. I will include my road show and, if possible, some of the people I meet in my search for an outlet for my work. I will do my best to make this documentation entertaining.
Start Date and Duration
I will buy materials within a week of receiving the grant. Fitting the work around my job as a freelance writer, I expect to complete the table within a month. I will then pack and transport it to galleries, where I’ll attempt to persuade gallery owners to come outside and have a look. That should be interesting. I expect this process will take two to three weeks for planning and execution.
I live in Loveland, Ohio. I construct and weld in my basement, and bend the table legs outside on sunny days using an adapted vise I attached to a leg of our deck. I have no affiliation with any college or art school, which is why my search for outlets is rather involved and difficult.
I expect materials and expendables to cost $180, and the trailer hitch to cost about $150. Trailer rental is $20 a day; I expect to need a trailer for two days. I am requesting $370 to cover these costs.
The picture on the next page shows the console table I made this spring. It is modeled on a kitchen island I built over the course of several years, also shown on the next page. The island I designed and made by trial and error. The top is wrapped in roofing copper, a job I don’t recommend doing by trial and error. If you want to try that, get advice from a professional. Apart from basic welding, I evolved all processes I use without instruction or assistance.