bend me, shape me…

When we set the time limit to find our materials at Axman, I figured 30 minutes would be plenty. I managed to get in and out in about 25, but I could’ve easily stayed there for an hour. So many possibilities.

My three big typeface contenders were a handful of colorful capacitors, a big bag of googly eyes and an assortment of springs.


I went with the springs for $4. I’ve loved slinkys ever since I was a kid, and in my head, this was going to be like making slinky letters. It’s only kind of turning out like that.

The assortment I bought contained 101 springs. 101 is a lot. I was a little overwhelmed when I dumped them out on to the table. But I forged ahead, separated them out by type and size, and chose one mid-sized spring to set the cap-height of my typeface.


The majority of the springs don’t bend very easily, so getting them to stay in curved positions is difficult. In some cases I decided to cheat a bit and use sticky putty to help certain corners and ends stay in place (see the R below). But I’m trying to keep that to a minimum; I’d really like for the letters to be able to stand on their own for the most part. I am still trying to figure out how I’m going to pull off an S. I’m thinking there has to be a way to get the super-bendy gold springs to curve just the way I want them too…it just hasn’t come to me yet. Ideas are welcome.


It’s been awesome working to shape these letters by hand, and not on a computer or in a sketchpad. I’ve finished photographing most of the alphabet, save for a few letters. But like Michelle, I think I’ll be going back to redo a few before we move on to the next step.  Stay tuned for Peter’s explorations on Friday.

4 Responses to “bend me, shape me…”
  1. Michelle says:

    I love the letters with both the gold and silver springs woven together. You are very brave, Clarissa, those look tough to work with.

  2. minx says:

    Hey Clarissa, could you use a little heat to get them to stay bent? Not enough to melt it, just enough to soften it and convince it it should stay the way you want it.

    Is that a Veruca Salt lyric? If it’s not, it’s the first thing I thought.

    Love these typefaces, guys.

    • Clarissa says:

      Ooh, heat is a great idea. I’ll definitely give it a shot.

      I was thinking of the old 60’s pop song by a band whose name I don’t know. But you’re totally right, it’s a Veruca Salt lyric too. Now I’m gonna have to go find that song.

  3. Peter says:

    These look really awesome Clarissa. Kind of steampunk-esque. Very cool. It’s almost a shame to turn them into vectors!

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