Friday, July 26, 2013

The Kitchen Sponge Holder Story

Why would I spend time making a kitchen sponge holder when I could have bought a pottery one at the craft faire?  In fact, Peter wanted to know why I needed one at all.
It was just one of those things…..I saw it at a craft booth and thought “What a great idea!  I bet I could make one of those out of polymer clay!”   So the project began.
First I measured the sponge and was explaining to Peter how it worked.  It was actually like a napkin holder – 2 sides with finger slots and a bottom.  That is when Peter started asking questions like “how would the sponge dry with no bottom holes?” “How would the water drain with no feet to hold the sponge higher than the counter?”  And that is when I decided to really put my design to the test with “Good Product Design Requirements”
1.       Function - Does it work?
2.       Repairability – Can it be repaired?
3.       Reliability – Will it work every time?
4.       Durability – Will it stay together?
5.       Producibility – Can I reproduce it?
6.       Simplicity – KSS
7.       Compact – Is it as small as I can make it?
8.       Aesthetics – Is it beautiful?
I decided to use screen wire for the bottom so the air gets in and the sponge dries and Peter will like that!
I made two sides of polymer clay and cured them.  Then I measured the screen wire and place it correctly while attaching another strip of clay over it and cured it again.  If I had really thought about that process, I could have done that at one time.  I think that is why we make prototypes! 
 I made two small strips of cured clay, drilled holes in them and fastened them with wire to the bottom screen wire. This is supposed to keep the sponge high enough to dry.  Then I bent the sides up and drilled holes in the sides and connected them with a wire. 
It WORKS!  The sponge fits and stands upright.  The water drains and the sponge dries. (1)  It can be repaired but why would I want to? (2) I have to test it longer to know if it works every time (3) and to see if it is really durable. (4) I can reproduce it but do I want to? (5) and Yes! I would refine a few techniques! It is pretty simple (6) and compact (7).  It looks nice at the sink. (8)
The pottery holder at the craft faire would have been a waste of money since it did not follow the requirements but it was really pretty! 
Peter is standing on the sidelines shaking his head and still wondering why I need this.  I’m wondering a little also and know the test will be if we really use it.   I often laugh at myself and that is really a good thing.



Friday, July 26, 2013

The Kitchen Sponge Holder Story

Why would I spend time making a kitchen sponge holder when I could have bought a pottery one at the craft faire?  In fact, Peter wanted to know why I needed one at all.
It was just one of those things…..I saw it at a craft booth and thought “What a great idea!  I bet I could make one of those out of polymer clay!”   So the project began.
First I measured the sponge and was explaining to Peter how it worked.  It was actually like a napkin holder – 2 sides with finger slots and a bottom.  That is when Peter started asking questions like “how would the sponge dry with no bottom holes?” “How would the water drain with no feet to hold the sponge higher than the counter?”  And that is when I decided to really put my design to the test with “Good Product Design Requirements”
1.       Function - Does it work?
2.       Repairability – Can it be repaired?
3.       Reliability – Will it work every time?
4.       Durability – Will it stay together?
5.       Producibility – Can I reproduce it?
6.       Simplicity – KSS
7.       Compact – Is it as small as I can make it?
8.       Aesthetics – Is it beautiful?
I decided to use screen wire for the bottom so the air gets in and the sponge dries and Peter will like that!
I made two sides of polymer clay and cured them.  Then I measured the screen wire and place it correctly while attaching another strip of clay over it and cured it again.  If I had really thought about that process, I could have done that at one time.  I think that is why we make prototypes! 
 I made two small strips of cured clay, drilled holes in them and fastened them with wire to the bottom screen wire. This is supposed to keep the sponge high enough to dry.  Then I bent the sides up and drilled holes in the sides and connected them with a wire. 
It WORKS!  The sponge fits and stands upright.  The water drains and the sponge dries. (1)  It can be repaired but why would I want to? (2) I have to test it longer to know if it works every time (3) and to see if it is really durable. (4) I can reproduce it but do I want to? (5) and Yes! I would refine a few techniques! It is pretty simple (6) and compact (7).  It looks nice at the sink. (8)
The pottery holder at the craft faire would have been a waste of money since it did not follow the requirements but it was really pretty! 
Peter is standing on the sidelines shaking his head and still wondering why I need this.  I’m wondering a little also and know the test will be if we really use it.   I often laugh at myself and that is really a good thing.