Chinese Steamboat Steamboat  
Aluminum, sand-cast

This piece is a modern take on a traditional Chinese hot pot, called a Steamboat in Singpore, where it is a popular fondue-like dish often served at Chinese New Year. As Singaporean and Chinese culture are strong elements of my heritage and identity, I wanted to design an updated version that still honored the classic form.

Traditional Steamboats are charcoal-fueled, which can be both inconvenient and potentially unsafe for indoor use. Newer Steamboats, fueled by propane, aren't much more than a big pot over a burner - casting aside all elegance and ritual in favor of pure functionality.

Given the iconic status and significance in Singaporean culture, this piece seeks to blend the modern and the traditional - for example, using clean-burning gas instead of hot coals, while retaining the chimney that is central to the gestalt of the classic form.

This piece was exhibited in the show Design Unassigned at the Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery in April 2010.

  Rendering Rapid Prototype Drag Runners  
Once I settled on a basic form, I tweaked the final design in CAD in three dimensions

A prototype of paper, cardboard, and a mixing
bowl identified potential manufacturing difficulties

The patterns were lasercut sheets of Masonite with auto body filler to smooth out the contours
Sanding Core Box Drag
I spent countless hours sanding each pattern to
get the right contour and smoothness
My casting was too complex to do on-campus, so
I took my patterns to a small foundry in San Jose

Sand was firmly packed around each pattern,
which was then removed to form the mold cavity

Joe McCord Pouring Raw Casting
It was amazing to meet Joe McCord, 85 years old, who runs the foundry with his son, almost 60 After assembling the mold - cope, drag, and two cores - molten aluminum was poured in

Finally, I removed the excess metal from the casting process and sanded (again) to a smooth finish