Sewing The Seeds

A bit of housework first: here is a copy of the business card we gave to Richard during our elevator pitch (courtesy of Mat Griffin):

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Week two of Field and we are now deep into product research and exploring the possibilities of what can be made from found / broken / abandoned items.  Focusing on jewellery and wearable accessories – our chosen saleable object – we spent a lot of time discussing how we could break down items into its constituent parts and then reassemble as beautiful pieces of jewellery, noting that there is a lot of beauty to objects that are hidden behind plastic facades.  Here is an example of what could be made:

We also had a discussion of what could be found, where we could find it and how we could possibly use found objects to fasten the jewellery together, rather than buying pre-made components.  As an exercise, we went to the skip on campus and found this:

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Breakdown

I managed to source a box of old, broken telephones from my work and donated them to this project.  Breaking out the screwdrivers and hammers, we took all of these apart and were amazed as to the wide range of components held within the boring looking phone.  Why make a phone out of grey plastic when you have these cool bits inside??

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As a quick exercise, I simply wrapped a piece of stripped down ethernet cable around my wrist to see what it would look like as a bracelet.  I really liked its aesthetic and felt that this idea of jewellery could really work.

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A fresh pair of eyes

We had two visits during the Thursday, one from Craig, a Cardiff Met employee and Matt Appleby, a new business startup founder making beer.  Craig came to our desk and we pitched him our idea.  He seemed to really like it and was taken by the idea that there is real beauty in the detail of objects and that they should be displayed more than they are.  He suggested that we ask each of our friends to bring something in that they could donate the project, ensuring we have enough materials to make this a success.  Matt Appleby discuesed the issues and pitfalls of a new business startup and advised on how we could make things a success, if we put the effort in.  Both were really nice people and gave some great advice, so many thanks 🙂

A Stitch in time

Ellen and I had the opportunity to have an induction with Maggie the Stitch on digital stitch; a technique used for stitching logos etc. onto garments.  Using our prototype Cobble logo, we worked as a pair to turn the digital image into a digital stitch file and set the machine a printing.  16 minutes later and…

As a logo, both digital and in stitch, I think it looks really eye catching, capturing the semi-haphazard nature behind the meaning behind the word cobble and the very principles of the business – cobble items together – so we, as a collective, think it’s a winner.  Well done Ellen.

In another room

Whilst we were stitching, Mat and Giulia were asked to present to the group our idea in its current state and take questions from the audience.  Here is the feedback, (courtesy of Mat Griffin):

  1. We need a quick and effective way of deciding what objects can be used what products.
  2. We need to explore the options of encasing components in a resin.
  3. Explaining our business and message as simply as possible on sales day is important.
  4. The discarded objects must be transformed into well made, professional products. If they look rubbish, no one will buy them.
  5. A week-by-week itinerary would be helpful.

Top work Mat.

Plan of action

As a team, we need to now gather as much ‘stock’ as possible so we see what we can make from all these items.  This business will live or die on its ability to gather a constant source of products to disassemble, so we need to get cracking.  Here is a (very) detailed list of what we need to over the forthcoming weeks:

  • Thursday 3rd November
    • FIND MATERIALS AND PHOTOGRAPH THEM
    • Research into what can be made, (for men and women), and how it can be made.
    • Research into ways of making our accessories different from the rest on the market.  One thing that Craig guy said was that the hidden components are beautifully detailed, let them shine.  Richard then added that you can buy pendants that have circuits boards in resin already, how can we make our product different?  I think this comes down to material choice and artistic vision.
    • Look into how we can fasten any type of necklace / bracelet / etc. without buying clasps – for example: buttons and buttonholes from shirts?  Computer connectors?  Small nuts and bolts?
    • Make a prototype(s) – check for rough edges, strength etc.
    • Research into Resin – setting time, ecological versions, package size, can it be sanded and polished?  We should order a single test unit to make sure we know what we are doing.
    • Research into what can be used as moulds – ice cube trays, silicone cake moulds, free versions of this??
    • Finalise Logo and strapline.
  • Thursday 10th November
    • FIND MATERIALS AND PHOTOGRAPH THEM
    • Strip down all products into constituent parts.
    • Based on everything we have aquired by this point, note down a bill of materials and what can be made.
    • Order all materials needed for the big build – resin, clips / clasps, bags to package in, staff uniform.
    • Finance – cost per unit, profit, units needed to make / sell, do we need a receipt book?
    • Designs for products need to be finalised so we have an instruction / assembly document for each item we are building.
    • Look into stand layout and design.  What we need for the branding elements (screws, flat panels, lights, map of the area to show where we found the products), size of display.  Could we have an unedited version of our second video playing on a screen in the background showing what we have done?
    • Start putting up photos of things we have found around the building, with the slogan ‘to be continued…’ written on them.
  • Thursday 17th November
    • The big build begins.
    • Business plan needs to be started – this would have been discussed as on going basis anyway, but it needs to be formally underway.
    • Continue putting up photos of things we have found around the building.
    • Design a poster that shows the storyboard evolution of the product: stage one is an image of us finding the product, stage two is the deconstruction and design, stage three, the build, stage four is the final product.
  • Thursday 24th November
    • The big build continues.
    • Everything needed for the display stand is ready to go.
    • Uniforms are ready or in stitch.
    • Branding posters, videos etc are ready to go or in final stages or at the printers for collection.
    • Continue putting up photos of things we have found around the building.
  • Thursday 1st December
    • SALES DAY!!!  Uniforms on, teeth brushed, smiles at the ready.
    • Confirm any information we need to say regarding the build, sourcing materials, company ethos, deals for buying more than one item, what we did with the waste products etc.
    • After sales day, we need to prep everything for the big pitch – video, script, script, slides etc.
  • Thursday 8th December
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