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Praxis and Poetics Conference 2013

Collaboration across design disciplines to create a new designer maker’s tool 

03   /   09   /   2013

The manufactured tracing wheels available in the market are generally made from plastic and a cheap metal wheel. They look like toy cowboy spurs. The spur wheel is the pricking implement that rolls through the calico prototype to obtain a 'traced' pattern. The differing tracing wheels available lack tactile ergonomic use and/or do not leave a defined 'prick' in the paper required to obtain an accurate pattern. 

The case to hold this tool will be of equal importance to the tool itself, a protective barrier that holds the respected tool as a jewel. A maker and their tools have a synergy. As in Sweeny Todd talking about his razors as an extension of his arm; “these are my friends, see how they glisten, see this one shine, how he smiles in the light, my friend, my faithful friend”(Sondheim, 2010)The product designer in conversation with the fashion designer have worked through the problems of use in current and vintage tools. Both designers have contributed to the process in exploring flatware designs (cutlery) for weight and hand feel, making sketches, CAD representations and modelling in OBO Model Board. Through several iterations the finalised design has been executed in brass. The weight of the Brass in the product is hoped to give a better hand feel and a positive user experience. It is intended to translate a cheap plastic tool to one that has greater worth, feel and responsiveness to inspire further creativity in pattern translation. A tool that may engender continued pleasurable use in creative pattern cutting.

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