Filed under: Drawings
I’m collaborating with sound artist Yuri Suzuki in a new travelling show called Sound Matters by the Crafts Council UK. Last year I was commissioned by Create 2012 to make a souvenir of East London. I made a vinyl record capturing the sounds of 21 makers in the area at work. From a shoe maker tapping his hammer to the sound of making beigels on Brick Lane. I’ve always liked the idea of creating something and handing it on to another person to find inspiration from it and create something new. I gave my ‘Sounds of Making in East London’ vinyl record www.soundsofmaking.com to Yuri and asked him if he could create something new from it. I admire Yuri’s work and he has a studio within East London so it continued my record idea of highlighting the large amount of creative makers in the area.
Yuri made what he calls ‘Sounds of Making in East London: Remix Edition’. He took very short loop samples from each of my record’s tracks, then put them all onto a vinyl record (looped grooves). He created 5 movable stylus needles so you can place the 5 needles onto the record at any position to create a form of endless rhythmic music from the sounds of making.
See the Sound Matters website here
There are audio interviews with all the artists to listen to.
The show will tour around Scotland initially.
Iona Gallery, Kingussie, Scotland , 1 June – 30 June 2013
St Fergus Gallery, Wick, Scotland , 6 July – 3 August 2013
Inverness Museum & Art Gallery, Inverness, Scotland , 10 August – 7 September 2013
I’ve created what I call ‘Sound Bulbs’ that combine a light bulb connector with music players so that it’s possible to screw in your music player into any light bulb socket. I was invited to take part in an exhibition during Clerkenwell Design Week called Design Exquis. The idea of the exhibition was a little like the game of Chinese whispers in that a first designer/artist was given an object (a stethoscope), they then had to find inspiration from that to create a new object of their own. That object was then passed to me and I was challenged to create something inspired from that. This continued for 4 people. The object I was given was a ceiling lamp by ‘Plant and Moss’. I started to think about ceiling lights and the question of ‘why do we only plug light bulbs into lamp sockets?’
My first thought was that it would be interesting to have music playing from the centre of a room, to be able to plug in a radio for example. I actually don’t use ceiling lights so much and prefer table lights for a more subtle light in the room. I set about finding old radios from markets and shops that I could convert with the addition of a bayonet or Edison screw light bulb connector and a 9v transformer to connect to where the battery would normally be. I decided to demonstrate the idea at the exhibition with a table lamp also. I could have chose a minimal table lamp and a modern day music player, but decided to go in the opposite direction. There are not many opportunities in life to combine 1880 golden statues with 1980 ghetto blasters so I took it.
The table lamp also has a little pull string to turn on and off. Of course there are many potential directions to my concept. remote. I have further uses and additions for this idea in mind.
During research I discovered that the very first electric irons were powered by electric lamp sockets see this 1920′s picture below.
The link to the Exhibition facebook page is here
For larger images for use on websites, print etc please contact using the contact page.
Filed under: Drawings
Last year I lead a five day workshop at NABA, an art and design university in Milan. I set the challenge to create something I called the ‘Everyday Action Orchestra’. Each designer needed to think of an everyday action, such as waving, shaking hands, brushing teeth etc. They then needed to create an object that would make a musical sound when that action was made. There would be a performance at the end of the 5 days where everyone would perform their action and simultaneously make a sound. Hopefully it would look interesting and sound good.
Here is a recording of the performance at the end of the workshop to the rest of the NABA students.
One of my assistants was Michelle Sterchele who composed some music using all the created instruments, you can hear it below. Also some photos of the Everyday action instruments (taken by Astrid Luglio)
I’m visiting family in Central Otago, New Zealand at the moment, it’s a beautiful place and a nice rest from London.
Before I left the UK I was asked to create 12 cloud based ideas for the Milan event ‘Ready to Cloud‘. Here are my ideas below…
Filed under: Drawings
I’m giving a free talk at The Lighthouse, Glasgow on March 5th about my work and there’ll be an outcome of a 2 day workshop I’m doing with Glasgow School of Art students to see. Tickets available here.
Tonight I will be competing against a 3D printer to make a model of Big Ben on the BBC 2 The Culture Show at 10pm 30/01/13.
2012 was a very busy year for me, probably my busiest. I remember starting the year thinking that I had no idea what I will do in 2012. Then Jaffa Cakes commissioned me to nibble their biscuit/cakes in the shape of something. Around that time I tweeted ‘I want to race against a 3D printer to make the same thing’ a curator saw it and invited me to compete in Milan. I defeated the 3D printer and won a trophy. While I was in Milan I spent 5 days making something out of sticks and tape in front of the public. On return to London I was invited to the V&A museum to have a rematch against a British 3D Printer. A bit later I was asked to create a souvenir of East London and had the idea to make a vinyl record recording the sounds of East London makers at work. The record was cut about half a mile from my house in Hackney. BBC radio 4′s Today programme visited me and I talked about the sounds and the history behind the makers. It even got played on radio in Tokyo.
In September I had a solo show at KK Outlet Gallery, I decided to make a book of my invention drawings and released a little animation. A little earlier I had been commissioned to make new versions of my shoe field for Global Footprint in Northamptonshire. I was also commissioned to create a pair of shoes. After thinking about Dorothy in The wizard of Oz I decided to try to create some shoes that could navigate the wearer home. These shoes appeared all over the place in mainstream newspapers and tv such as The Discovery channel. Meanwhile I was asked to do something interesting with 3M tape. Finally I was asked to create something that would be suspended across a street inthe Seven Dials area of London. I made an arch of birdcages to represent the past history of pet shops in the area.
This year I’m once again unsure what direction I will go in, I might do some more sketched inventions for a start.
I had the pleasure of talking to Marcus Fairs, editor of dezeen.com on stage at the 100% Design exhibition in September about some of my work including GPS shoes, the value of sketching and thinking outside the normal.
You can see the full Dezeen post here
My book of invention ideas seems to be selling well, about two thirds through the 1000 printed. I had a lovely comment from Thomas Heatherwick, designer of the London olympic cauldron amongst other brilliant things. He kindly wrote, “Dominic Wilcox’s drawings aren’t just witty and beautifully drawn, they are serious challenges to the real world to keep looking at itself with innocent eyes, wondering what else is possible” He mentioned a favourite of his was the motorised ladder below.
Christmas is nearly here and if you want gifts to keep your relatives entertained after their Turkey why not buy my signed book Variations on Normal HERE for only £8 so I can buy myself a Christmas pudding. Worldwide delivery is no problem but be quick for the post before christmas.
I must make more effort putting it into shops but it is available in London at Magma near Covent Garden, Artwords on Broadway Market, Theo at Somerset House arcade, The Serpentine Gallery book shop and in Edinburgh at Analogue Bookshop.
Or how about my Sounds of Making in East London vinyl record with mp3. See here.
I was commissioned by Dezeen and Shaftesbury Seven Dials to create a sculpture to be suspended across Neal street in the Seven Dials area of London. My research of the area revealed that in 1879 Charles Dickens Jnr described Seven Dials in his book ‘Dicken’s Dictionary of London’ as a place where many bird shops and bird cage makers could be found. “Every variety of pigeon, fowl, and rabbit can be found here, together with rare birds, such as hawks and owls… Here and there are shops fi lled with cages.”
I decided to make an arch of ghost like birdcages to reference the memory of the birds and the shops of that time. Each cage is left open in remembrance of the birds long departed from the area.
I have put together over one hundred of my odd yet strangely logical invention drawings into a little book. You can see some of the ideas below. They all come from a room inside my head that I like to go to every now and again. A signed book can be bought for the bargain amount of £8 on my web shop here. I’ve had 1000 printed and they seem to be selling fast.
‘Dominic Wilcox’s drawings aren’t just witty and beautifully drawn, they are serious challenges to the real world to keep looking at itself with innocent eyes, wondering what else is possible.’
Thomas Heatherwick, (designer of the London Olympic cauldron amongst other innovative work.)
In addition to the book I made a little animation by connecting some of the book’s ideas into a mini story. Hope you enjoy.
Also if you are in London come down to KK Outlet where I have an exhibition on.
Filed under: Drawings
I was commissioned by the Global Footprint project in Northamptonshire, a place famous for shoe making, to create some shoes. I decided to make a pair of shoes that can navigate you wherever you wished, no matter where you are in the world. I thought about the Wizard of Oz and how Dorothy could click her shoes together to go home. After uploading your required destination to the shoes via a piece of custom made mapping software and a USB cable, the GPS, which is embedded in the heel, is activated by a heel click. It then communicates to the wearer via a ring of LED lights to point in the required direction. The shoe with the GPS wirelessly communicates with the right shoe that has a progress bar of lights to show how close you are to the destination.
The Shoe is connected to a laptop with the mapping software. The user plots their destination on a map and uploads it to the shoe. The USB connection also charges the battery in each shoe.
The progress bar starts with one red light at the beginning of the journey and ends on the green light when you arrive. The correct direction to walk is shown by the illumination of one of the LED’s on the circle.
I made an illustration that was etched onto the soles. The red leather and stitcing is a little reference to Dorothy’s red ruby shoes.
For more pictures and information visit www.dominicwilcox.com/gpsshoes.htm
Filed under: Drawings
I have an exhibition of my work on at KK Outlet gallery, London, running until the 26th of September. I’ve got new work never seen before on show as well as recent and past work and all my videos. I’ve even launched a book of my invention drawings and an animation. So it’s been very busy recently.
The show is open all through the London Design Festival and should be mentioned in the guides.
7th – 26th September
9 – 6pm Monday Friday, 12 – 5pm Saturday.
Dominic Wilcox – Variations on Normal
42 Hoxton Square
One of the things I’m showing is a personal collection of oddities that I own. For example on the left is this WW2 Japanese Airforce ceramic fire extinguisher. Designed to be filled with sand and thrown out of an airplane on to fires caused by bombing below. I was told by the previous owner that the technique wasn’t very effective.
Next to it is a wedgewood teapot that can lean back to use its internal tea leaf strainer.
I also have a pair of shoes that can guide you home to post about soon and an animation and book.
With thanks to Richard Shed Studio who designed the layout, graphics and design of the exhibition.
Filed under: Drawings | Tags: john hegley, sounds of making in east london, terry de havilland
My Sounds of Making in East London vinyl record is getting some nice coverage, BBC radio 4′s Beth Mcleod did a lovely feature on it for the Today programme, you can hear it here…
It also made it onto J-Wave radio in Tokyo…
Filed under: Drawings
Sounds of Making in East London, 10″ vinyl record, 2012
Sound recordings of twenty-one East London makers at work
A project conceived, recorded and illustrated by Dominic Wilcox
Listen to a sample here…
I was commissioned by CREATE 2012 to make an ‘alternative’ souvenir for East London. They wanted to commission ‘a collection that aims to be a desirable antidote to the overly-commercial, tacky souvenirs on sale across London this summer.’
I decided to focus on what makes East London unique, the large amount of skilled, creative and historical makers that live and work there. I visited 21 makers in East London and recorded the sounds of them at work. Examples included the clatter of lyric poet John Hegley’s typewriter, the chopping of garlic in a Michelin star restaurant, the tap of rock ‘n’ roll cobbler Terry de Havilland’s hammer and the sound of a bell being tuned in Britains oldest manufacturer.
I then found a vinyl record company in Hackney who cut and manufactured the record. Then I drew some of the tools and the makers for the record sleeve and added the track descriptions on the back. The record is now available to buy for £15 and includes an mp3 download code.
When I visited the makers I also took photos and I did 10 interviews. I decided to create a website that would document all of the project. www.soundsofmaking.com I hope you enjoy visiting it. Now I sleep.
Filed under: Drawings
After my triumphant victory over the 3D Printer in Milan I returned to home turf to compete against a new printer at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London during their monthly Friday Late event. This time I competed against a machine from A1 Technologies. I decided that we should both make a model of St Paul’s Cathedral. In Milan I used clay to make the Duomo but this time I thought I would try marzipan just to make it more difficult for myself and get closer to potential public humiliation.
I was a little surprised at the size of the crowd as I came out from behind the curtain after we were introduced.
Curator extraordinaire Beatrice Galilee gave running commentary on the event, highlighting such dramas as the fact I seemed to be struggling to get into the marzipan packet.
The maripan got softer as the heat rose so it was a bit of a challenge to make a Cathedral.
The vote was put to the crowd and they thought I had won (most likely out of sympathy).
After my victory in Milan the 3D Printer sent me this bad loser message…
As part of the Making Together exhibition in Milan I had invited the public to donate sticks of all types and sizes which I planned to tape to a chair and build a network of sticks during six days of Milan design week. It was to be an improvised creation where I would decide how it would grow while I was making it. It’s quite exciting to start from nothing and not be sure what is going to happen, particularly when in front of an expectant on looking audience.
I placed a spotlight I found at the exhibition and pointed it onto the white wall to create shadows.
Half way through week.
The idea I came to Milan with was to build a bridge of sticks between two chairs but I changed my mind and wanted to build on one chair with only the legs of the chair touching the ground. I wanted to see how far I could push the strength of the tape and balance of the chair.
I decided to draw the shadow onto the wall with the same tape.
Me in the sticks.
On the third day I was told that the chair had toppled over in the night and so I strengthened with more tape. I added a chair on one side to try to balance out the weight.
Sometimes I would come into the room and some members of the public were attaching stick to the ‘tree’. This wasn’t part of my plan but I was tempted to see what they did. Collaboration with the public can be interesting but it is important that they understand the rules and restrictions of what needs to be done. I ended up having to remove the 5 or 6 additions as they weren’t strongly taped or in the best positions for a good structure. I decided to continue with just me adding things but the public bringing the sticks throughout the day.
The shadow moved continuously due to the weight of new sticks being added, but I just drew over the new shadows.
At the end the stick structure was moved to a new room leaving the shadow drawing as a permanent piece.
Filed under: Drawings | Tags: 3d printer, dominic wilcox, hacked, milan, rinascente
)Update to the below: Rematch at the V&A see here ).
I won the battle of Man vs Machine in Milan at the Hacked event at La Rinascente department store! The challenge was for me and a 3D Printer to make the best model of the nearby Duomo cathedral within 1.5 hours. The age of 3D Printing is here but there is a discussion around where it is heading and how useful it will be. What can a human do that a machine can’t? Can the hand created object give something that a computer cannot? Or can machines do everything better? Is computerised perfection emotionless?
There was a big crowd and many people stayed for the whole time watching the progress intensely.
The clock counted down for 90 minutes, there was a little beep for every second which made me nervous.
(No Plugs) I bought a white dressing gown like the boxers and added some messages with red tape I was using in my other exhibition. We came out to the sound of the Rocky theme music.
The 3D printer was a Makerbot and was controlled by the team at wefab.it. They really got into the performance and called their machine Deep Pink after the famous ‘Kasparov vs Deep Blue’ chess match. I chose to make mine from clay. I have never made anything from clay before so was a little unsure about the result. I notice in the photo above there is a man with an old film camera. (Very suitable to the event hand/digital.)
I took some photos of the Duomo but when I started I found it difficult to remember what shape it was. There were many people around photographing and filming and for a few minutes I was thinking ‘what am I doing?’. However once I had made the first blocks I could see potential in the model and I focused on my task.
stop motion video
I was hearing that the 3D Printer had a little problem half way through, the model was moved a little and started printing slightly to the side, but it was fixed. The real Duomo has many details and the makerbot 3d printer is quite a simple but a fun DIY style machine.
The Editor in chief of the italian magazine Domus Joseph Grima was the referee and decided to award the prize to me.
The prize was a large ceramic ‘subbuteo’ of football team AC Milan.
‘I eat computer chips for breakfast’ Me and the We Fab team from Milan.
Update: After my victory the machine sent me this bad loser messages…
There is talk of another match in London very soon with a different 3D Printer. This could be an event the grows and develops. Keep following.
Filed under: Drawings | Tags: making together, milan, milano, Ventura Lambrata
During this year’s Milan design week I will be spending 6 days at the Making Together event in Ventura Lambrate. The theme of the event is participation and collaboration and I was asked to come up with an idea of what I could make there.
My project is titled ‘Between your thoughts and mine’ and attempts to symbolise the connection between two people sharing their knowledge and ideas. It is inspired by the knowledge that our mind holds all the things we’ve ever seen and experienced, and ideas come about by linking these apparently unconnected things together.
My plan is to attempt to build a tree like network of sticks and stick shaped, everyday objects, attached to two chairs using duct tape. The public (that’s you my friend) are invited to bring sticks that can be added to the structure including brushes, walking sticks, a flute, a tennis racket in fact anything that has a stick shape is welcome.
This completely improvised method of making has an unpredictable outcome, it will start by me attaching a stick to a chair leg with some tape and then continuing to build upwards, connecting stick to stick. My aim is to try to connect the stick networks of two chairs together to create a bridged ‘conversation’ between them. The only parts touching the floor are the chair legs.
I asked the organisers to find two chairs and some sticks to get started and then ask the public to bring their own sticky things to add to it. I have no idea what this will turn out like in reality but something will happen. If you are in Milan pop in and say hello (and bring a sticky thing).
Edit. The idea was influenced in part by my earlier door stop extension idea I did during my Speed Creating project.
Making Together: Milan Design Week
April 17th – 22nd 2012.
Ventura Lambrate Spazio Logotel,
via Ventura 15
Update to the below post see results here…
A couple of months ago I tweeted that ‘I want to race a Rapid Prototype Machine (a 3D Printer that makes objects) to make the same thing’. It was just one of those things you can say quickly on twitter as an ‘off the top of your head’ idea.
It turned out that curator Beatrice Galilee had been made aware of my tweet by a colleague and she then asked me if I would like to make my tweet become reality. She was organising an event called ‘Hacked’ based inside a large department store called La Rinascente during the Milan design week.
What I find interesting isn’t just the speed of making things but the simple idea of making an object with my hands competing against a computerised 3D Printer making the same thing. I will start with a block of clay, I’ve not made anything from clay since primary school and I know that my creation, no matter what happens, will definitely have the hand made human touch (imperfections are good!). The machine is controlled by the computer file used to create the model.
I remember hearing about the Kasparov vs Deep Blue chess match where the world champion took on the super computer.
I decided that the thing we both will make is the Duomo, a large cathedral only ten metres away from the department store in Milan’s Piazza del Duomo (a large square). The Duomo has a long history in Milanese life including, bizarrely, the fact that a model of the Duomo was thrown at the italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi not so long ago.
So the plan is simple, I will sit at a table making a model of the Duomo in clay and a 3D Printer will sit opposite me working away on making it’s own Duomo. A large clock will countdown for 1.5 hours.
The 3D printer is a Thing-o-matic MakerBot and will be controlled by WeFab.it
The ‘match’ event is on 19th April, 5 pm till 6.30 pm, in the basement floor, La Rinascente, Milan.
The details of the ‘Hacked’event are below
Milan, MONDAY 16 APRIL – SATURDAY 21 APRIL 2012 – ‘Hacked’, 100 hours of rebellious creativity, will be rampaging and rollicking its
way through Rinascente during Milan Design Week. Hacking – the thrill of modification and customization – will be celebrated here in bombastic style.
To celebrate the world’s original design festival, Salone del Mobile, la Rinascente’s flagship store proudly presents ‘Hacked’. Over the course of 100 hours the store will be radically altered – inside and out – as it becomes an interactive experimental lab space. By collaborating with the most exciting young talents in design, la Rinascente invites everyone to ‘Come, explore and hack’
For the line up and times of all ‘Hackers’ click here
Update to the above post see results here…
Filed under: Drawings | Tags: dominic wilcox, jaffa cakes, loch ness, queen's guards, stonehenge, the thames, tower bridge
McVitie’s, the biscuit people, challenged me to create some British themed creations using their Jaffa Cakes. I took my inspiration from friends who described their strange and unique methods of eating them. I started to nibble and pick away, going through 30 boxes of Jaffa Cakes to try to get shapes that fitted with my British themed ideas. One problem I had was when I got distracted by the radio and then looked back to see I had eaten the Loch Ness monster. See the video and pictures of what I came up with below.
You can follow my future creations on twitter or facebook. Or have a look at the other things I’ve made on this site using the menu on the left or visit my main project site here.
Thanks goes out to Joe McGorty who helped me get the photographs done.
Filed under: Drawings | Tags: dominic wilcox, moments in time, watch sculptures
I have created five new watch sculptures that are currently on display at Phillips de Pury and La Scatola Gallery. Each watch is a one off. See the pictures and video of them moving below.
UC Davis Protest, 2011
I find it disturbing when people in positions of power abuse it and lose any sense of humanity. I was shocked to see the footage of the pepper spraying of people sitting in a peaceful protest at UC Davis. I felt a need to capture this incident in time.
Love and Protest, UC Davis Protest and Captured are on display at La Scatola Gallery until the 10th of January.
Comfortably Oblivious and The Beautiful Game are on display along with The Sitting Man and Unrequited Handshake at Phillips de Pury until 31 January 2012.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the War Bowl I have created two new limited edition versions. The red Battle of Waterloo bowl is made with melted British Artillery and French Infantry figures. The black English Civil War bowl uses Royalists and Republican figures.
The War Bowls, together with limited edition prints of my invention drawings and anti-theft rust bike stickers are available online here here .
The War Bowls are also available over christmas at
Phillips de Pury, 45-47 Brook Street at Claridge’s, London, info here
The Temporium, 65 Monmouth Street,
Seven Dials, Covent Garden,
London WC2H 9DG
see info here
The War Bowl is hand made in small numbers, each bowl is stamped on the base by me with the date.
Each bowl is unique due to it’s hand made nature and comes with a loose set of the soldiers that were used in it’s creation.
The new red and black bowls are limited to an edition of 250 each.
I have a new big project to show. I’ve put tiny figures onto watch hands in order to create mini animated scenes. I had the idea last year during my Speed creating project, but decided it was too good to rush. 8 month later I showed a prototype to Dezeen and they commissioned me to make a collection. The watches use customised model figures and I also made objects, like a miniature looted LCD tv. The glass domes were specially made to fit by Wearside Glass Sculptures in my home town of Sunderland at the National Glass Centre.
The watch sculptures will be exhibited at Dezeen Space in Shoreditch, London from 17 September to 16 October.
54 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3QN.
more pictures and info on my other site dominicwilcox.com
London Looter: I had to walk across Mare st in Hackney to get home during the riots. I remember seeing a boy carrying a lcd tv down a back st. I noticed how the police seemed unsure how to react, holding their circular shields while the boy held a rectangular tv.
Filed under: Drawings
This photograph was taken by photographer Joe McGorty for an article about me in this month’s 100th edition of icon magazine. Since my studio can be anywhere, I decided to make a Tree Branch Work Desk to enable me to think up a tree with a cup of tea and pencils at hand. We decided to document the making of the desk as seen in the animation put together by Joe.
Photograph of Dominic Wilcox copyright Joe McGorty
A national competition to re-design the electricity pylons that cover the UK was announced today. The brief says…
‘The challenge is to design a pylon that has the potential to deliver for future generations, whilst balancing the needs of our communities and preserving the beauty of our countryside.’
Personally I quite like their current look but here is my idea to solve two issues in one, the fact that we are running out of landfill space and the desire for pylons that preserve the beauty of our countryside. They could even be built around existing pylons so are low cost.
Alternatively just rename pylons, Mini Eiffel Towers and the public will adore them, maybe even pay to go up them.
This is an alternative to my idea I did a while back for hill covered tower blocks.