New Making Projects

Making Mementos With Modern Methods

Over summer I spent the majority of my time working as a bartender and found it to be one the most enjoyable and fulfilling experiences that I’ve had in all of the time that I’ve spent in Edinburgh over the last three and a half years. I made some great friends, shared countless amazing experiences and learned valuable skills across 10 weeks; once it came to an end and I left The Voodoo Rooms, I wanted something to take away with me as a way of remembering my time spent there. After my last shift I took an empty bottle of Buffalo Trace Bourbon (the collective favourite shot of the staff) and a bottle of Peroni (my regular after work staff drink) signed by everyone that was on shift that day. At the time that seemed like a fitting couple of items to take away with me but, whilst both items hold sentimental value, I figured these are things that I could have just bought from anywhere and that, after a while, they would just become bottles I had picked up along my way through working life.

It struck me that if I could take the things that reminded me most of a certain period of my life and turned them into something with purpose, then maybe their sentimental value would possess more longevity. As it stood, the things I’d taken away with me were essentially just items to be stored away, hoarded as such; I wanted them to be things I could genuinely treasure that I would feel necessary to take with me wherever I go from here. I wanted to essentially see if I could replace some of my everyday household items with creations that held sentimental value.

It was at this point that I realised this was something I had already done somewhat in my own home. I’d begun using my favourite bottle of wine as a vase for flowers and bottle of gin as a lamp (using a USB cork light).

From here I decided to pursue the idea of more artistic and abstract ornamentation; using 3D scanning and printing as the delivery method. My thought behind this was that the more I could make my mementos look like a household item the more personal, or private, value they would hold. I took a couple of other bottles and mementos I had obtained over the past couple of years and took them to UCreate workshop to see what results they drew from the 3D scanning equipment they have; specifically intrigued by the effects reflective surfaces would have on the scan results.

As I somewhat expected, the scans on glass returned the most interesting results. The scans were somewhat distorted and, whilst they resembled the objects they represented, there were clear disparities between said scans and reality. From here I headed to MeshMixer to see if I could distort the scans into something that I could take to the 3D scanners and produce something of use to me.

One of the things I really liked that came out of the scans that weren’t a part of the original items was the texture that the distortion produced and I thought, once printed they would make for really interesting pieces, regardless of what they were eventually used for.

I worked briefly with foil on my original items to see how well that worked as a reflective and decorative material, as I wanted to keep the element of reflectivity that they held in my 3D printed models. Unfortunately said models are yet to be produced so a finished article is yet to be available.