Townsville Eco House Piece

One of the builders in Townsville built a six-star rated house, which he decided to incorporate all environmentally friendly products as much as possible and tech-savvy design/aesthetics– all to use as small a footprint as possible.

From every new build there tends to be an awful lot of wastage that gets dumped into the skip from left over bits of the house build. With this in mind, he approached our gallery to ask artists to incorporate the used materials left over and dumped in the skip. He would then choose to purchase what he liked and display those ‘pieces’ inside or outside as appropriate in his new home. These art works would be shown as an exhibition firstly, which the builder would buy what he wanted and then others could purchase after that. This proved very successful. For me personally, I submitted two pieces which the builder purchased. Both I had made for outside but one he displayed on his dining room table as opposed to the garden.

The other one was a door knocker. Both pieces were made retrieving rebar from their skip. As a blacksmith I usually regard this as the sausages of all steel, meaning it has a mixture of hard/soft/rubbishy/low grade bits as its main ingredients and proves hard work to hammer.

At the time I did not possess a power hammer so this proved extremely challenging for me, but I was pretty pleased with the end result. I actually quite like the distinctive pattern recognisable only as rebar and with flattening one end and a bit of organic style shaping, added with a few multiples using the same process and various lengths 2-4 feet long placed and welded to a base, it looked quite triffid-like in its form.

The front door to the builder’s new house was a single standard size glass front door offset to the edge of the building. The house was built from bricks. So thinking of my design for the door knocker I found an old offcut of hard wood that had at one time been painted white which had partly worn off with age. To this oblong shape I bent rebar to mimic the door shape and thinking originally of a broken hammer I had found in the skip for the lever, which was too far gone to be salvaged, I fashioned out a simple lever with a finger hold to knock the rebar and create the loud ‘rat a tat tat’ familiar to our ears. This worked well and the whole piece was mounted to the wooden board with countersunk holes in strategic places and screwed using old screws found in the skip. To the back of the wooden board and to the wall it was mounted to, I placed blind overlapping brackets, and was positioned to one side of the front door at an ergonomic height for most people.

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