Upcycle Aesthetic – Desk Toy

For my upcycle project, I will make a desk toy out of a spare aluminum block I have. My goal is to make the block into a cube and then bore or turn several concentric circles or smaller sizes. This results in the appearance of small cubes inside the bigger cube. This is conventionally called a Turner Cube. My design will be a 2.5” cube of raw aluminum. This fits the desk toy aesthetic of raw, shiny metal, small, interesting, and figit-able. It provides me a challenge to design and machine, and the result is something I can play with on my desk while having the satisfaction of saying ‘I made that’.


Other images of the desk to Aesthetic are below. They are all metal, shiny, simplistic, and can be played with.




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2 Comments. Leave new

  • A classic and striking project for fun lathe-work! I’m curious to know if the aesthetic could be more accurately classified. When I searched for “Desk Toy,” many of the objects didn’t seem to share many aesthetic properties with the examples included here. It appears that this project’s aesthetic could be better defined under an overarching aesthetic movement.

    As an example, the chairs we’ve looked at in class haven’t been labeled as a “Desk Chair” or “Wooden Chair” aesthetic, but rather their features, inspirations, and cultural influence give them an overarching classification such as “Rococo” or “Gothic.” If someone else were to see this piece in their history textbook and wasn’t aware of its origins, how would they classify its aesthetic?

    I hope you bring it in when you finish it; I’d love to see the outcome!

    • Thats a good point Will, I’m now pondering how I could better define this aesthetic. My original thought was that it fit my personal collection of desk toys I have created in my CU Engineering career., but I totally get your point. Machinist or machining projects could possibly better define the aesthetic that this would fit into. I will have to work on refining that definition to better fit this project. Good prompt!


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