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Inspiration

 

Titanic Dock & Pump House Museum Table designed by BEd 4 T&D Student, Louise McLean

 

The following is a piece from a BEd student who suffered bereavement and yet gained inspiration and support from the memory and loss of her brother. This is a message from Louise to all of us.

 

My name is Louise Mc Lean and I am a final year BEd student in Technology and Design at St Mary’s.

In August 2011, my brother Michael, who was aged 26, died in Nicaragua, Central America, whilst on a nature hike. The death of my brother made it extremely difficult to start back to my course in September, but with the guidance and caring attitude of my lecturers, technicians, friends, family and of course the support I felt from my brother, I continued on with my studies at St Mary's.

This year I designed and manufactured a table for the Titanic Dock and Pump House Museum in Belfast. I wanted to have a client to help me with my project throughout the design, therefore I arrived at the museum and asked to speak with the Director, Mr Colin Cobb. He was very interested in my design proposal and asked to see sketches of initial ideas. I started to sketch ideas that he was calling out to me and within two hours, we had six tables with different design features in each. Colin picked out the features he thought would be the best and I sketched a final idea.

I then went back to St Mary’s and using Solid works, I was able to draw this idea and show him the dimensions of the overall product. He made alterations to it, for example he changed the height to suit a high chair and added the Titanic Quarter logo onto the anchor of the base.

I wanted to recreate as many features in my table as were used in the Titanic, and thus used materials such as walnut, cherry, brass and manilla rope. When manufacturing the table I started with the spindles of the wheel. I used the wood lathe to achieve the same profile as the Titanic wheel. I then cut the inner circle and outer arc of the wheel and assembled all the parts together.

 

Louise delivering her Titanic themed table to the Titanic Dock & Pump House Museum

 

I sent the drawings of the table base away to be laser cut and once I received them back, I welded them together and sent them away to be powder coated, using a suitable RAL number. After careful consideration, I selected a bronzed glass to tie in with the colours throughout the table.

 

Louise delivering her Titanic themed table to the Titanic Dock & Pump House Museum

 

I have worked on this project since November and many hours have gone into the manufacturing and the design process. I brought it down to the Titanic Pump and Dock Museum and Colin was extremely happy with the outcome. I hope that he will commission it for the museum. I am thankful for the support I received throughout this project, with special acknowledgement to the lecturers and technicians within the department, but I am eternally thankful towards my brother who I called on to help during the difficulties I faced in the manufacturing process.