Inspiration/Intro: This project is my excuse to build something I’ve been wanting to for a very long time. A guillotine is perhaps one of the most interesting methods of execution, at least in my opinion. It is a message, it isn’t a slow walk towards an executioner but towards a cold, unflinching device. It’s large and foreboding, its use an immediate thought upon the first look. It also encapsulates the tumultuous feelings many like me who were born and live in poverty have had.
Aesthetic: I did not want it to simply be a guillotine though, that’s still a very scary and foreboding device. In class it was discussed that rounded edges typically make us feel better and safer, therefore I plan to have as many rounded edges as possible. The top will be rounded and there will be an attempt made to round out the bench. This then translates to the blade which will be a stop sign, a round blade that will be cut at an angle like a real blade and weights added for it to come down properly. The sign itself will be painted to have the words war bedazzled across to fit the aesthetic of McBling. McBling is an aesthetic from the early 2000s often confused for Y2K, it is defined by juicy sweatpants and shimmer, Paris Hilton and celebrity culture, etc. It is seemingly a response to 9/11, an aggressive lean towards consumerism and distraction from the horrors that was just experienced. It feels perfect to have a glittery guillotine, as it’s trying to distract you from the horrors of its true purpose.

Disclaimer: The blade will be sliding down a track and will be able to be removed for maintenance and blade replacements. Therefore, for the purposes of this course, there will be rubber weather seal added to the edge of the stop sign to stop it from actually causing harm and I will not be adding enough weight for it to actually do much. I plan for it to slowly come down and that will take a lot of finagling with weights.

Materials: Several Different Boards: 2×4, 2×6, 2×7, etc. I live in Noco and there is a place called Uncle Bennys. (Terrible guy, great place with plenty of reclaim material for a very affordable price). Most boards I need, due to them being reclaimed from other people’s construction projects, are $2.00. Some of the longer, thicker boards are closer to $10.00 which doesn’t seem like a bad price for things like oak and cedar. Places like Lowe’s and Home Depot charge exorbitant prices for wood. I will also check lumber yards, but Unlce Bennys seems like the best choice. Another option is Craigslist, I picked up the boards and pieces I needed for the bench off the free side of Craigslist this weekend.

The free side of Craigslist (depending on location) is a gold mine! I’ve gotten so many materials for nothing because rich people give away a lot of stuff barely used for funsies. From wood, material and almost all my furniture I highly recommend Craigslist. I have never been disappointed in my finds, like a custom desk that has a switchboard for powering different things or a sewing table from West Berlin. You just need to look, and I mean look. I sometimes spend days off going to Craigslist free piles as they will have tools and materials I need for a project that I couldn’t see in photos. 

  • Fasteners and weights. Will either get from Bennys too or a major hardware retailer if I cannot find what I require.
  • Stop sign, I’m currently trying to find one for a good deal. They’re at the moment around $30.00 on marketplace and I’m unsure if that’s a fair price.
  • Rope for the lowering and dropping of the blade.
  • Weather stripping/seal.
  • Dark stain.
  • Glitter and sequins to glue on, think early 2000s phone case.

Timeline: 3/30: Get bench pieces.

  • 4/5: Go to Bennys and get all the pieces I need.4/12-4/25: Begin putting it together. My husband and I plan to work in tandem. When I’m at work he’s doing the cutting and dealing with sharp objects. When I’m home we will work on assembling it together blade and all.
  • 4/26: Will have my husband stain it while I’m in class and will follow up with glitter and sequins.
  • 4/27-4/30: Test runs, work out quirks. Testing if it will fit in my car (will be able to be disassembled, yet it is still a rather large piece). I will probably have to forgo my Abarth and have to use my VW to get it down here, test out the factory roof rack. If you see a guillotine flying down Arapaho off a VW, no you didn’t.





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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Hi Efrosini, this seems like a super unique project to work on. From the post, it sounds like it is, but is this intended to be full scale? What are the estimated full dimensions of the final design? It is also going to be a very interesting cross between bejeweled and death, I am very interested to see how it turns out.


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