We got our first prototypes today! We wanted to test out a couple of forms we’ve sketched out in wood and Chris wanted to see how the lathe is used as well. (By the way, Hi! Chris introduced me in an earlier post but just for the sake of a little personal propaganda – I’m Manjari and I’m awesome! Or lets just say I feel awesome to be part of this exciting project!) Our local vendor has a small but airy workshop in one of Delhi’s busiest hardware markets, it has one power lathe, a jigsaw and a slew of hand carving tools. The shop owner – Abdullahji is an old acquaintance and quite used to getting strange requests from me which make absolutely no sense to him (he usually turns chair and table legs, bed posts, quite conventional stuff) and reserves the last part of his working day for me – after 6 madam!
Watching the pieces getting turned on the lathe was very insightful after all these days of sketching on paper – we understand the limitations and possibilities of the material and the process and this will act as an effective filter in the future. Of course having Chris there meant we got free chai as well as makeshift stools while Abdullahji worked hard to impress the ‘Amrikan’, as you can see in the video we’ve posted below.
The other purpose was to test a peg system we had in mind to facilitate the interchange between different body parts. This he made by drilling a hole on both faces of each body part and inserting a small thin wooden rod into one of the holes (which he broke from some flag posts he made last Independence Day), securing it with generous amounts of wood superglue.
At the end of the day’s work we had two similar ‘dolls’ – one of which turned out to be quite interesting. Its upper body and head is off to one side (one of the faces was accidently shaved off at an angle) and we all agree that it gives it much more movement and life than the other one. Because of the peg being at an angle you can rotate it about its axis too – more playful and fun!