Josh Bitelli uses welding equipment to make
containers from coils of molten steel

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British designer Josh Bitelli has created a series of vessels by dripping molten steel from a welding gun.

Josh Bitelli uses welding equipment to make containers from coils of molten steel

Josh Bitelli's 3D Drawings are deliberately rough interpretations of everyday homeware items, constructed using techniques and materials typically found in heavy industry.

Using a MIG welder typically employed to join metal components together by bridging the gap with melted metal wire, Bitelli draws coils in blobs of steel. The objects gradually build up over time and don't make use of moulds, meaning each vessel is unique.

Josh Bitelli uses welding equipment to make containers from coils of molten steel

"Like a cascade, every coil grows out of the one before it and is the foundation for the next," explained Bitelli. "In this way every object has a narrative and, as with weaving, the process does not specify the form but it sets the parameters."

"An architectural engineer recently told me that when walking through London, he often spots the standard shapes found in the drop-down menu of architectural modelling software," he continued. "I have no problem with cut and paste, yet designers must afford themselves greater control of the tools they use."

Josh Bitelli uses welding equipment to make containers from coils of molten steel

The range of objects Bitelli has made includes tea pots, cups, vases and candle holders. Most are made up of just the welded material, but some including the kettles feature additional handles and spouts made from solid metal and soldered onto the structure.

Bitelli draws a parallel between his welded work and the process of building up objects in layers through 3D-printing technology. "While thinking about the disconnect that 3D printing tends towards, I thought about a process that's perhaps more intuitive, like that used in ceramic coil pots."

Josh Bitelli uses welding equipment to make containers from coils of molten steel

Dutch designer Joris Laarman recently combined a robotic arm typically used in car manufacturing with a welding machine to develop a 3D-printing technique that draws metal structures in mid-air.