Spina Steam-Bent Lighting, 2019

Solo university project to produce a range of products utilising steam bending.

A collection of steam-bent lighting is created by patterning the same shape arm in different ways. Three pieces join together to create one arm, this arm is then either patterned around a central-axis vertically or horizontally.

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The idea started by exploring the material and process to understand what was possible. I wanted to focus on reducing process waste as much as possible as failure rates for some steam-bent products are as high as 80%. During the production of this light, I only experienced one break from over 80 arms produced, putting the failure rate for the project at just over 1%. Unlike other steam-bent products, the arms used do not require straight grain and can be made from smaller offcut pieces.

Scale models helped to visualise and test combinations and light distribution as well as different jointing methods.
For the volume of arms required, I created bending jigs and holding jigs to speed up the process. The project was my first attempt at batch production from a craft perspective. It gave me a good insight into the expense associated with finishing processes, accounting for over 50% of the total manufacturing time and therefore, a costly process.