2014 // Meadowed mild steel.
The Dish Series is a collaboration with San Francisco designer Kevin McElroy of Liminal Spaces studio. The pieces use precision computer machining (CNC) to sculpt smooth geometric surfaces in heavily rusted, uneven slabs of steel that were reclaimed from a local metal distributor.
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The original blocks of steel were hand-picked from a large quantity at Allan Steel near Redwood City. They had been heavily rusted after having been meadowed in the open back space, and most had a highly irregular shape from sawing or plasma cutting years ago. They were measured as accurately as possible, and modeled in Solidworks. Each shape lent itself to a compelling intersection of a round volume, which was then removed digitally. The pieces were CNC machined on a Haas mill using aggressive cutting toolpaths to remove large amounts of solid steel. After finish machining, they were hand-sanded to a low gloss. The result was a contrast between the smooth, polished surface of the round geometric shape and the rough, rusty rectangular edges it was cut from.
The concept was derived from Kevin's prior work, Dish (2013), in which he laminated reclaimed lumber sections into one massive slab and then carved out a circle from the virgin wood beneath the surface. The process of leaving such intentional marks on discarded, weathered waste material highlights the significance and beauty of so much of what we consider garbage.