Wilcox vs 3D Printer: Duomo

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…

I Nibbled Britain out of Jaffa Cakes

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.

Stonehenge Jaffa Cake

Stonehenge Jaffa Cake
The sunset effect was achieved by shining a light through the Jaffa Cakes orange wrapper. I like the realistic reflection.

The white cliffs of Dover

Tower Bridge

Set up with a plastic bag.

The Loch Ness Monster Jaffa Cakes
The Loch Ness Monster

The Queen's Guards Jaffa Cakes
The Queen’s Guards (The ones with the big bear skin hats outside Buckingham palace)

The Union Jack flag Jaffa Cakes
The Union Jack flag

Queen's head on coin Jaffa Cakes
Queen’s head on coin

The Thames Jaffa Cakes
The Thames river

All of them.

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.

Five new 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.

Love and Protest, 2011 (Detail)

Love and Protest, 2011
In these times of peaceful protest in the face of armed repression, a protester and soldier kiss.

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.

Photograph: Wayne Tilcock/AP

Captured, 2011
CCTV cameras and three people photographing and videoing. Everyone is capturing everyone.

Comfortably Oblivious, 2011
Here two people fail to give up their seat to an elderly woman with walking stick and bags walking round and round.

The Beautiful Game by Dominic Wilcox
The Beautiful Game, 2011
A footballer holds aloft a trophy in the form of a pound symbol (£) as three prospective WAGs fight for his attention.

The Beautiful Game by Dominic wilcox

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.

For larger images visit my project website page here
You can see the earlier watch sculptures here

10th Anniversary War Bowls Launched

War Bowl by Dominic WIlcox

Black War Bowl by Dominic Wilcox

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.

Watch Sculptures : Moments in time

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.

Adventures of a young vegetarian : a small girl attempts to stop a butcher chopping up a pig by hanging on his arm while the pig floats away.

The Sitting man: A man sits for a moment.

Hide ‘n’ seek

Watch sweeper: the numbers and hands are swept away on the second hand.

A man so engrossed in his iphone that he fails to notice a monkey balancing on the head of a weightlifting boy on the arm of an elderly roller skater.

One man stands with arms folded while another moves around in continual hope that his hand will be shook.

Tree branch work desk

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

Hand made

I am happy to say my gloves cast from my own hands are in the excellent exhibition ‘The Power of Making’ at London’s V&A museum.

Power of Making celebrates the role of making in our lives by presenting an eclectic selection of over 100 exquisitely crafted objects. The exhibition is a cabinet of curiosities showing works by both amateurs and leading makers from around the world, presenting a range of skills with imaginative and spectacular results.” Curated by Daniel Charny

Wed 7 September 2011 – Mon 2 January 2012


Paint Brush Coat Hooks

KKoutlet recently approached me to take part in their exhibition ‘Object Abuse’. The challenge was to ‘take an everyday object, remould, rebuild and repurpose it to create an entirely new item, using as little additional materials as possible.’

One day I was walking through an art shop and looked at the brushes. They seemed pleasant objects so I decided to come up with something using one of them. I remembered how I used to forget to wash paint brushes after using them and then would find them hard and unusable the next day. After quite a few trials and mistakes I managed to make something useful, a coat hook. Handily there is a hole at the top of the handle for the screw.

Exhibition PDF info
For hi res images email

Kill two pylons with one rubbish stone

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.

Waiting Room

st philips

This grand old building in central London is being demolished from today to make way for a new student union building at LSE. I was amazed to find this out and I am sure there will be many in that area that will get a bit of a shock when it starts.

I was contacted about making something in the building for a quickly organised exhibition that referenced it’s life and history in some way. The St Philips building started in 1903 as a workhouse Infirmary for the poor before going on to be a hospital for women and then bought by the London School of Economics.

I was shown around the building, all rooms were empty apart from one remaining locked office that was abandoned with all it’s contents intact. I thought that it was as if the room was waiting to die and I wanted to ease its transition from this world.

I double and triple checked that the contents of the room were no longer wanted and they were left to the fate of demolition.

My thought for the office was to leave it intact but to remove the colour from every aspect in the room (via white paint) thereby taking away a layer of reality and connection to our world as it moves closer to its imminent death.

In order to distance the room from our world further I decided to keep the door locked so people had to peer in through the small window.

Waiting room by Dominic Wilcox

waiting room

waiting room

Waiting Room by Dominic Wilcox
An installation at St Philips Building, Sheffield st, London, WC2A 2EX
Exhibition: Students, Patients, Paupers
You can see the planned new building including a video of the old building here
Larger images on my Project site dominicwilcox.com and flickr.

Finger-Nose hits headlines

I’ve been amazed at the amount of press my latest post has received. I’ve just heard it will be on the popular UK programme Have I Got News For You on BBC 2 tonight (14/5/11) at 9pm. It’s one of my favourite shows and I am preparing myself to be humorously (hopefully) abused in front of the nation. UPDATE For those who missed me on Have I got News For You bbc2 its here.

I was interviewed by Paul Coyte yesterday on the UK’s national radio station Gold you can listen to it here…

America’s national public radio NPR did a nice little piece on it here…

It has been featured on The Discovery channel in Canada see here (after the ads)

It was also in the Metro newspaper in London.
And it’s been all over the web. It is interesting how things start spreading out across different media.

To go to the original Finger-Nose post click here

Finger-nose™ Stylus for Touch Screens

I sometimes use my touchphone in the bath. I know it’s stupid. One problem I encounter is that when put my left hand in the water without thinking, it gets wet and unusable for touchscreen navigation. It is too risky to try to hold and navigate with one hand. I found that I could use my nose to scroll but I couldn’t see where my nose was touching precisely. It was at that point that I came up with this idea of a nose extension ‘finger’ that would allow navigation while my phone is firmly held by one hand.

I did send a tweet from the bath last night which was typed as ‘Hello I am tweeting with my nose’ unfortunately due to the phone’s
auto-correct it sent it as…

I lost 2 followers.

It’s also very handy when out and about multi-tasking on a cold day while wearing gloves. I imagine it would be a great accessory for iPad users.

I bought a handheld stylus that I embedded in the plaster nose. The plaster comes mixed with fibres that make it look hairy.

Although this is handy for me in the bath and outdoors it touches on possible uses for people without use of a hand. Though the design could be made more ‘subtle’ for everday use maybe coming from around the neck.

UPDATE: see the amazing amount of press this received here
It was on BBC’s Have I got News for You here

If you like this you might find my other projects interesting listed on the left menu like my Speed creating project where I made something creative each day for 30 days.
Follow me on twitter or facebook.

Webby Awards Nominee!

I am happy to say that this website VariationsonNormal.com has been nominated for a prestigious Webby award in the Personal website/blog category. If you like my website it would be wonderful if you could take a minute to vote for this site here. The Webby Awards are often described as the Oscars for websites and are now in their 15th year.

For new visitors, VariationsonNormal.com is where I put my sketchbook ideas and experiments. On the left you can see a list of categories for easy navigation. Recently I completed a project called Speed Creating where I made something creative each day for 30 days.

Webby nomination Variations on Normal

How technology can save you serious money.

A fence

You might be asking ‘why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?’ But the garden fence industry is very powerful and they kill any idea that would threaten their plank quantity sales. When I was twelve, while lying in bed, I worked out how to make a perpetual motion machine. This would solve all the world’s energy problems, I fell asleep in the excitement of planning how I would spend the profits. When I woke up I realised that I had forgotten what my idea was. I apologise. I’m frowning in regret as I write this even today. However, now in the age of the internet I can quickly put my ideas on this website so that the world can reap the rewards before I forget.

This idea was first shown in Icon magazine, 2008 in my ‘Lost sketchbooks’ series. Follow me on twitter or facebook.
Update: An artist has recently made something similar but with a window net, it works well… see here

Lining up in comfort

queue tray
Queue cushion
In England we love to queue, standing in an orderly line patiently awaiting our turn. We will put up with a lot of things in life but one thing that we will not tolerate is those sneaky people who try to push in.

Queue punishment

My website has been nominated for a Webby Award. If you like my ideas it would be wonderful if you could take a minute to vote for this site here.
Follow me for new things on twitter or facebook.

Living objects of the future

Living bike

In the future, scientists will create objects that have the properties of living organisms. This idea is a bike that loses and gains weight depending on how much it is used. The owner will have the satisfaction of getting fit themselves but also enjoy sliming down their bike as every mile passes. As the bike sits in the garage getting fatter each day the owner will feel increasingly ashamed.

Seeing not looking

 chair/bag by Dominic Wilcox
A chair and camera case?

Ceci n’est pas un mouton.
I was looking at a chair while I lay down. After a little while I saw four legs, a body and a neck. I looked around to get my camera and find something for a head. The case for my camera was perfect, the straps when attached to the chair even resembled ears. I showed the picture to a friend who stared at it for a while and said, ‘yes, a chair and a bag’. I said ‘no, it’s a sheep’. Now she and I can’t look at it without seeing the sheep. There are things all around us that are waiting to be noticed we just need to see them and place a spotlight on them. I am on the look out.

On a similar theme of ‘Seeing’ you may enjoy Matt Stuart‘s photography.