Introduction: Coke Bottle Ring
the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own.
It was also the topic of one of my art assignments a while ago. Of course, it wouldn't be plagiarism in the full definition of the word, but it does give an interesting view on already existing works of art. When I first heard the theme of the assignment, I immediately thought of Andy Warhol's work.
After browsing a bit through various works, I ended up with the idea of taking his coke bottle sketches a step further. The main thing to notice about his designs is the linework in the bottle. It's simplified in comparision to the actual product, yet still clearly shows what it is. I wanted to simplify those lines a bit further and turn them into a ring!
Step 1: Sketchbook Research
Since the design is based on existing series of works, the most logical first step was looking up pictures for reference. Next to that, I sketched out several ideas for the design. The main thought behind them was making it into a signature ring. With plagiarism as the overlapping topic, this would create a design - based on works that are already based on existing designs - that can in turn be used to recreate the image.
Step 2: Coming Up With a Plan
So, an idea is nice and all, but turning it into a design that can actually be executed still requires some work. The first idea was starting with a flat base in the general shape of the bottle and add wire lines on top of it to create the details. For this idea I thought of three different materials to use:
- plastic / this would mean pressing hot wires in the right shape into the material to create the pattern
- metal / for this option, I'd solder the wires on the base
- wood / easiest to shape and use, since the wires could just be glued on
Eventually I decided to simplify it a bit and go with a wire basic shape, soldered together without flat base.
Step 3: Materials
Enough talking about preparing this project, let's get into making it! The materials needed:
- a mandrel
Step 4: Basic Bending
Draw the basic shape at the right size, including the lines you want included. Follow the lines by bending them with the wire bit by bit, slowly building up your shape.
Step 5: Soldering (gone Not So Great)
With the base lines created, it seemed the right moment to put it all together. After testing a small , simple T connection though, I quickly learned the type of wire I used wasn't solderable. I'm guessing it's because of the coating it has, meant to keep the wire from tarnishing when working with it .
Step 6: New Plan
Alright - with soldering not an option anymore, it was time to come up with a new plan. By simplifying the design a bit more and looking at the places where the different parts can be joined, the design can be turned into a wirework design.
Step 7: Wirework Time
Take a piece of thin wire and start coiling around one of the base pieces. Be career full not to get too close to the end of a part when switching to a new part, you don't want your coiled part to slip off the base. I found it easiest to just follow the outlines and add the pieces as I go along, keeping the middle part empty.
Step 8: Comparison
When looking at the original design and the wire shape, the main difference is the ratio of width and height. Mainly caused by the drawn design, it turned out a bit too wide, though still giving a recognisable shape.
Step 9: Turning It Into a Ring
Using the same thin wire used for the wirework, wrap around the mandrel multiple times at the right size. Twist the wires around each other to lock the shape of the ring. Take the basic bottle shape and place it on top of the ring base. Use both sides of the thin wire to create a wire wrapping pattern between the middle part of the bottle.
Step 10: Wrapping and Ending
Once the entire middle part is filled up, wrap the ends of the wire around the ring base to make it stronger and to be able to end the wires nicely. Cut them off and use a pair of flat nose pliers to clamp them down so they don't stick out when wearing the ring.