Arrived on Monday (27th January 2020) I was at the studio door at 10.00 a.m. as I had agreed with Fabio.
After having changed both of us to work, he explains that I will start preparing the material to build the bench and that I will carry out the whole process on my own.
Fabio says that the bench is the most complicated object among those that have done so far and also the one that requires more preparation time. The bench has been ordered from China for an exhibition at a trade fair and so, even though it is my first piece, I won’t have the chance to mistake any detail because it would mean redoing everything.
1- rectify copper pipes and cut them in the correct sizes
2- clean the ends so that the cables through the inside do not get damaged
3- passed the wire inside a ceramic sheath and stopped by burning the sheath on the wire at its ends
4- insert the fii inside the copper tubes
5- bend the profiles with pliers following the shape on the wood
6- create a thickness with copper wire at both ends of the tubes
6-mount the box and position the tubes inside
7-through the use of wooden structures that support the tubes in position
8- fill the box with sand until the two long lower rods are covered.
9- check again that the position is correct in order to insert the long upper rods that will form the seat
10- insert the tubes and hold them on a sheet of wood (below) so that they do not bend during the process due to the heaviness of the material
(day 2) create the circuits so that both have the same wire length. In this way the electricity, by making the same route, will be able to have the same intensity in both segments. To be able to have the same length we have added a wire segment to both circuits. In one we put the wire added in a small box on the ground with sand inside so that we can control the diameter that is created around the wire during the process. While the other excess wire was hung from the ceiling so that we could tell when the circuit is working by watching it become glowing.
12- turn on the two circuits
13- monitor the temperature of the wires and switch the circuits back on in case they jump. During the process, the current was blown at least 5 times because some wires were salting and had to be reconnected. Temperature between 250 and 300 degrees Celsius.
14- Fabio (below) while checking the thickness created in the test box
15- also check the thickness in the upper parts of the bench.
16- open the box on one side and pour the excess sand into the dust container from which it was taken
17- sweep the bench from excess sand
18-open the box on the other side to let out all the excess dust.
19- first view of the bench. The structure came right and straight as desired but the vertical rods (feet) are thinner than the rest of the body. Despite this Fabio is satisfied with the work done and explains to me that he is able to remedy that problem by applying putty before the final painting.
20- cut the ends of copper pipes with an angle grinder
Here is the almost finished product (no paint).
Performing the whole process in the first person was very interesting.
The way it works is very easy to understand, but all the shrewdness that there are various steps made me think about how long it took him to get the answer to all the details.
Being a process they invented, it’s also nice to see the tools they created themselves to make their products.
It took us two days to make the bench also because we had some hiccups in remembering how to assemble all the parts of the “mould”. Seeing also the drawings preserved for years for the realization of something that had already been done by themselves made me understand how important it is to archive their projects in a functional way.
It was certainly fascinating to see the finished product made by you in collaboration with designers that I admired from before for their projects.
Fabio was very kind to invite me back to the studio to make a shape at my pleasure with this technique, giving me 150 cm of copper pipe.
In this experience I have learned many things. I saw the way you run a space in collaboration with other designers, the tools available and the way everyone organizes their space but at the same time they all work together. How important it is to share a space also to help each other with projects, find new works and have someone to talk to during breaks.
A few days later, during the CSM WIP show, I met Fabio again with one of the other designers of the studio and we talked about some projects seen in the show. On this occasion it was clear how important it is to create a circle of contacts within one’s own field. Within a few minutes I had already met other designers with whom I could exchange information and ideas.