This project was for my Furniture and Product Design course in Elisava. Our goal was to purchase either a broken or outdated object at the El Encants flea market for less than 10 euros and transform the object to have a new purpose. I chose a sad iron which I successfully bargained to 8 euros. This is where the ideation process began.
The next step was to redesign the iron. To do so, I had to think about the origins of the object. The sad iron was used in the middle ages, where it was heated up and held with a cloth. The pointed shape was so that it could go around buttons. Nowadays this is useless because we have electric irons, but the act of ironing struck me. The idea of pressing a heavy weight reminded me of stamping, which gave me an idea.
With all of the shootings occurring in the US and deaths occurring due to hate crimes, I wanted to create a piece that would allow a user to leave an impression, both literally and metaphorically. So I took my sad iron and turned it into a Sad Iron.
To create the Sad Iron, I tool advantage of the iron shape to create a gravestone design. I started in Illustrator and made a template. I then experimented with several materials to see what would fit for a laser cutter. I looked at leather, copper, acrylic, and linoleum. I chose linoleum because it is easily cuttable and matches the rustic feel of the iron. The other materials were either impractical or too expensive to cut.
The idea is to allow the user to imprint the gravestone onto any surface and write the name in the blank space provided.
This project was my first experience with laser cutting, and it also taught me how to find resources in Barcelona, as I initially looked for engravers to put the design in metal (it ended up being around 200 euros to do that so I decided another route was better). It also opened my mind to reimagining items for uses other than what they were originally created for, which allows me to be more open minded when observing the world around me.
I dedicate this project to the victims of the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue shooting. I hope that we can one day live in peace with no hatred towards one another.