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Coffee stirrers


I’m always drawn to materials that you can pick up anywhere and do something interesting with. There’s something inspiring in the mundane.

There’s also interest in seeing sheer quantity of a single object, and of course in creating something positive from might otherwise have gone to waste.

Coffee stirrer sticks are apparently made of birchwood, and are lightweight but surprisingly robust material to make stuff with. I cut some in half and drilled some tiny holes in the ends before securing the pieces using dressmakers’ pins.

By constructing a loop of pieces like this, I had a flexible object which could open and close and be manipulated into all sorts of different angular shapes. Very satisfying stuff.

Next, I wondered what it would look like scaled up and in a fancier material. I had some offcuts of teak lurking around and stumbled upon my riveting kit that I’d previously used for leather. The brass rivets were the perfect length to join two pieces of teak so they’d still have room to move. It was a quick (and noisy) job.

I love how this looks, and the sanded teak is lovely and smooth to handle but the overall experience is a bit mad – as it’s way too big! You kind of have to stretch your arms out to open it up fully, which makes it less a fidget toy and more a whole body experience!

I think the next iteration of this might be using ice lolly sticks, or similar sized pieces of hardwood, for which I’ll have to think of another way of attaching them.

Another project to be continued!