The venue for Royal College of Art show 'Paradise' in Ventura Lambrate this past year in Milan left a lot to be desired. Despite being in such an uninspired, uncomfortable setting the work of RCA students elevated the mood and at times made the dreary surroundings irrelevant. One such work was 'Making Money in Milan' by Nic Wallenberg, Sam Weller and Petter Thörne.
From the Designers:
Sited outside the Royal College of Art Paradise show during Milan Design Week 2012, Petter Thörne, Nic Wallenberg and Sam Weller were Making Money.
“We decided to take a shortcut through the design process and just make money!”
In a process of haphazard craft Thörne, Wallenberg and Weller were melting, casting and mauling pewter into coins with a bespoke set of tools. The raw material Pewter was poured into a mould resulting in blank disks. These were then centred on their anvil - engraved with the tail side of the coin - and pounded with a three-faced sledge hammer. Each face was detailed - one with a nose, one with a mouth and one with an eye - four hard hits builds up the head side of the coin while simultaneously embossing the tail side.
Over the course of the week they made almost two-hundred coins all with a unique worth.
“Money has an interesting history. It was originally created as a physical object with an intrinsic or perceived value and has evolved into what is essentially an ‘I Owe You’ and is still becoming more abstract and even more intangible. “
The coins were then given authenticity, by the audience, through bartering for goods or exchange of currency - from a sliver pipe cleaner, to a lock of golden hair, to a four leaf clover.
“It was really interesting to see the diversity in both the objects we bought and their ‘percieved’ values. Some paid us Taiwanese dollars, while others sold us something of personal importance. We even bought a photo of someones mum.”
*Making Money received an honourable mention by the Conran Foundation.
Petter Thörne, Nic Wallenberg and Sam Weller came together for “Making Money in Milan”. They are all MA students at the Royal College of Art in London and will graduate in the summer, 2012.