I don’t drink too much tea but I sure like making things.
My glass teapot came with this little metal ring for keeping the teapot off the burner surface of the stove. I come to find out that this metal ring was called a trivet and that the one that came with my teapot was fit for the trash. It was either iron or steel, either way it didn’t take long for it to became a rusty eye sore that only left rust everywhere on a daily basis.
Those of you who follow my work know that I have an equal amount of admiration for technology as I do traditional painting methods and am no stranger to electronics and computer based projects.
The Design Process
I started by drawing a 4 inch octagon on a piece of graph paper and hand drawing a bird and flower design so that it fit into the octagon. I kept in mind the structural integrity of the teapot trivet and made sure I was linking up all of the components in enough ways. Next I photographed the drawing and recreated the drawing as a vector based design in Adobe Illustrator. I didn’t use live trace though, I actually recreated the design from scratch while using the drawing as a template from which I worked on top of. I made a few small changes like using a circle for the outer part of the design.
Manufacturing: Where Design Meets Machine
Once the vector design was complete I handed the file over to my buddy Rich who had just completed rebuilding a CNC router. After converting my vector file of the trivet into a format that the CNC router could understand (G-Code) he positioned an aluminum sheet onto the router’s bed and let the machine cut out my trivet. He was nice enough to buff off and sharp edges too, what a guy!
By the way, I choose a bird and flower because my wife really likes birds and flowers; I do too so this trivet has become a huge hit in our household. I’m not sure how the aluminum will hold up over time, but anything is better than that rusty old trivet that was staining our kitchen.