Toaster made with iron ore gathered by hand

toaster made from iron ore gathered by hand

This toaster was built from scratch by Thomas Thwaites, a design student at the Royal College of Art, London, as a project in extreme self-sufficiency and to highlight the effects of mass production we take for granted.

Using a £5 ($8) toaster as a model he spent a 9-month period, gathering the raw material by hand from mines across the UK and processing them himself. He smelted the iron ore in an old microwave.

The final product cost close to £1200 ($2000), more than 200 times the cost of his shop-bought model. The toaster will be on display at the RCA Summer show in London this week, where Thwaites hopes to “toast [visitors] something”.

New Scientist: Picture of the Day


  1. Bill Whitcomb

    June 26, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    >He smelted the iron ore in an old microwave.

    You can do that?!?! I probably shouldn’t know that.

  2. It looks like he took his $8 toaster and put it in the old microwave.

  3. Back when I was immersed in the DIY-punk community, I’d snark and say, “well sometimes when you DIY, it kind of sucks.”

    I can only imagine that toast from this contraption tastes like melted plastic army men.

  4. Bill Whitcomb

    June 29, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Of course, by the time you’ve grown and ground your own wheat, put together the oven, and made the bread to toast, it proably tastes great…if you haven’t already starved to death.

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