DTE are a series of wedges, vee blocks, shims and packing blocks that can be used in a machine shop or can be transformed into your own Desktop Empire.
These devices are important in holding work steady for accurate precise machining of engineered and designed product. The wedge from its role as one of
the 6 simple machines to the more complex Vee wedge and blocks have been used to place, shore, hold other materials for turning, moulding and sculpting. These
Vee blocks, shims and packing blocks aid machine shop manufacture or can be used and transformed into play objects as a Desktop Empire.
Nothing is built without anonymous props, anybody outside the manufacturing industries may not appreciate these anonymous objects they have in their own right been developed and designed and have tactile appeal and beauty as standalone objects.
Desk Top Empires have arisen as part of the inquiry ‘Tools for Life’. This exploration led to the examination of how we manufacture products and how tools are designed with thought, craft and precision to the same degree of complexity as the product itself. These objects are designed to work together and could be used in manufacture but taken out of their industrial context could be perceived as building blocks and as such something to be played with.
The Blocks are wrought from Iron, Mild Steel and Brass with design skill. The intention is to leave questions in those who see and handle the blocks about their purpose and materiality? To leave a memory of appreciation of the hands who have manufactured these items and who have had years of experience to be able produce such objects.
They are not 'Just' items. Lionel Thomas Caswall Rolt said ‘Any fool can tighten a nut with a pencil’ but `A pinch of practice is worth a pound of theory.’ Here design, engineering and making come together to bring about an understanding of materials and processes.