Nic Roope & Violetta Boxill
Nicolas Roope and Violetta Boxill met in 1996 and married in 2006. Nicolas is an artist who works in digital media, being founder and director of POKE, as well as manifesting physical ideas through Hulger, which created the multi-award-winning Plumen lightbulb. Violetta is founder of the design practice Alexander Boxill, founding creative director of ICON Magazine which she directed for its first 5 years and has an extensive track record in editorial and print design ... as well as working with Nicolas establishing the Plumen and Hulger branding and identities.
Set of wooden chip forks with ice-lolly stick punch-lines
120 x 225 mm
Beech, glassine paper, laser cut and etched; screen-printed, assembled
Created exclusively for CONTAINER #1:Hot&Cold in an edition of 200
Nic Roope is from Sweden originally and his wife Violetta is from Barbados, so it seemed natural to them to fit these two identities into the Hot & Cold theme. But, after some rather strange experiments with freezing and boiling water, they came up with a genius idea that is completely English (and specific to a period of time).
Folly presented a familiar problem – how do you replicate something that’s acutely familiar and is normally made in huge quantities? Just to make it more difficult, add making something that’s not made anymore, as in the wrappers. So, finding authentic materials was the challenge.
I started with a project that Carter Wong had done that used custom fish-forks, but that was made in a quantity of 100,000 – very small volume for fish forks, as it goes – but I did learn that they’re made of beech timber and that was useful. The next call was to Dudley at Aircraft timber, who supplies, er, timber for model aircraft and is thus actually interested in supplying very small quantities of wood.
Next up was how to cut out the chip forks. I’d rather foolishly said to Nic and Violetta that we’d avoid the burnt edges that come with laser-cutting and that we’d hold out for a nice clean edge…even though we were using laser etching for the jokes. Well, those words came back to haunt me as none of the other processes worked: waterjet cutting was too dirty and stained the wood and CAD routing left all sorts of squiggly bits of wood shavings in the routed out channel. Reluctanctly, we settled on the laser-cutting and Nic and Violetta were gracious enough to not remind me of my earlier promise.
Lastly, in what appears to be a fairly orderly process was the wrappers. Possibly exasperated by the wood escapade, I had little hope or appetite for chasing the unique wax-coated paper used in 1970’s ice lolly wrappers – today’s lollies are all flow-wrapped in polyester. So, I recommended that we use Glassine paper for a slightly oblique reason – though it was nothing like the waxed lolly wrappers, it did resonate as being vaguely sea-side related and since the wrappers weren’t available to make a comparison, we could rely on people’s unreliable memories to make the required associations.
That said, we did go to the slightly absurd length of die-cutting the distinctive zigzag opening and slotted hole of the original lolly wrapper. Just because we could.