Eat Eat Eat
Bird Cage – Eat Like What You Eat

IMG_6406-2-SILO-Clean
IMG_5957-BLOG
IMG_6105-BLOG

The third-course references the battery cages used to hold and transport chickens.
shutterstock_137274206-BLOG

A metal bird cage with three holes, one for each hand and the top opening intended for the mouth, is designed for the diner to experience eating through a confined barrier. Utensils are placed directly inside the holes for the two arms designed as a visual invitation. Another key aspect to this course is the reconstructed brick chicken. Using meat glue, the chicken is re-imagined as growing into the confine rectangular space of a battery cage, much like a Japanese square-watermelon taking the form of its mold. (Please see the Culinary Exploration tab for a look at the reconstructed brick chicken.)




Screen Shot 2013-03-12 at 1.36.46 AM-BLOG




A quick cardboard mockup was made to test the size, aesthetics and feel.
P1270214-BLOG

It was important to establish the right details for the cage. I obsessed over the openings, handle and the overall shape of the cage. While reading Omnivore’s Dilemma corn was a very poignant topic. Initial thoughts had the handle look like a kernel. But in the end I was over thinking this too much…
Cage

One important detail was the thickness of the bars. This governed the size of the juncture at the top of the cage. 1/8″ thick by 3/8″ wide brass bar were the final measurement. Increasing the spacing of each bar also helped to reduced the overall size of the connection.
cage-medallion

From this a metal medallion was laser-cut. This piece needed to be precise so all the bars of the cage would line up.
P1270419-BLOG

The overall shape is a merge between a bird-cage and a food dome. A jig is built to aid the final construction of the cage.
P1270417-BLOG

For working with metal ITP didn’t provide the tools needed to anneal, shape and solider metal. I got generous advice from my former professor Rolando Negoita at Parsons, Product Design department and through visiting BrooklynGlass I was directed to Brooklyn Metal Works. I then rented a desk space at Brooklyn Metal Works to fabricate the cage and other non-ferrous metal needs.
P1270506-BLOG

So first the brass bars from McMaster Carr was first cut to size.
P1270545-BLOG

It goes through an annealing process where the brass is heated to be soften.
P1270553-BLOG

Then polished to a brushed finish before shaping.
P1270560-BLOG
P1270561-BLOG

Each bar was shaped my hand using a circular edge of a piece of plywood.
P1270566-BLOG

Holes were drilled at both ends of each bar for final connections.
P1270592-BLOG

An ergonomic test during this meal was helpful to place the openings for the hands and mouth.
P1270594-BLOG

The connection of all the bars to the medallion proved to be difficult. But getting advice from David at Metalliferous really helped. A rivit cold-connection was the method chosen.
P1270575-BLOG
P1270602-BLOG
P1270613-BLOG
P1270614-BLOG

Also an added detail of the top handle was machine-lathed because that’s something I couldn’t find in stores.
P1270598-BLOG
P1270600-BLOG

A nerve racking moment came with the first bar cut for the hand.
P1270678-BLOG
P1270680-BLOG
P1270723-BLOG
P1270724-BLOG
P1270727-BLOG

And the top mouth opening, held together with binding wire during the soldering process.
P1270735-BLOG

A wooden base was CNC for the cage. This is a dry fit test with all components in place.
P1270994-BLOG


This is part of the ‘Eat Like What You Eat’ thesis project. Back to the main page.

All content © 2018 by Tak Cheung