Object #4
Interview Subject: Dorothy Darker
Object in Question: Small, handy, purse-like box

Well, Clockstone readers, this post will be a brief one, I confess, because I’ve just spent sixteen hours at a Renaissance festival and am the color of a boiled lobster.

But it’s all right, because the pictures speak for themselves. Dorothy’s box turned out to be a unexpectedly complicated project, but one that we think looks beautiful, and which we hope she will love.

Without further ado from my sunburnt self, here’s Zac:

So the project brief was for a steampunk bento box, or something along those lines; a small box that’d fit a cell phone, keys, and other essentials.  Ms Darker suggested loops in the corners of the box that one could tie keys or a phone lanyard to, with perhaps external loops as well for a carrying strap. This evolved into the little slotted sections of tube that can be seen below – more on that later.  The aesthetic of the box ended up somewhere between steampunk & atomic age.  The material was salvaged from stainless steel pipette containers I’d found a couple years ago on the recycle shelf of my university’s chemistry lab.

The bench at the start of the project, container in the foreground:

A little work with a cutoff wheel gave me usable sections:

And some careful work with an air grinder and a tiny burr gave me nice slotted tube sections, perfect for joining corners and providing a place to tie keys and phones to:

With the two angles welded together, all that’s left is to add sides, corners, hinges, a latch… purses are complicated!

Here’s the bar left in the corner, ready to tie things down:

And the lid hinged up, ready to add sides and all the hardware:

Final assembly:

Welding the top together:

And I got impatient during the last stages of assembly and skipped the picture-taking.  Here’s the finished purse (Well, almost finished.  Still needs a latch.  How many parts can one purse have!?)

And done (finally!):

And open:

Remember that nice clean bench we started with?  Somehow, this tends to happen:

Thanks for joining us, Dorothy! And thank you for the lilies; they’ve bloomed and are gorgeous. We hope your purse serves you well for many years to come.

Next week we’re going to talk to a friend with a sculpture problem. Until then, thanks for reading!