The Toaster Project

The Toaster Project (2009) is Thomas Thwaites' attempt to build a toaster from scratch.

The Toaster Project

Thomas Thwaites: 'The Toaster Project', photo © Jan Sprij

In 2009 Thomas Thwaites decided to recreate a mass-produced toaster from scratch. This is no easy task, even if you know how. How do you get the materials? To make a toaster, at the very minimum, you need copper, iron and plastic. Metals are mined, and plastic is produced from oil. These aren't things easily accessible from nature. 

Thomas Thwaites visited an iron mine, climbed the Scottish mountains, and used 500-year-old technology to obtain most of the materials he needed. Unfortunately, laying his hands on a barrel of crude oil turned out to be more difficult. 

With the deadline approaching, he was forced to cheat on the plastic. Collecting and melting plastic waste material proved to be a nice workaround. In fact, this little cheat cast natural resources in a new light. If humanity ceases to exist, it will leave behind enormous fields of plastic. These can easily be mined. Sustainable indeed. 

The audience at Test_Lab What Crisis? got to see the toaster plugged into the mains for the first time -- an exciting and potentially dangerous operation. There was a flash and the smell of freshly crisped... toaster.

More information, including videos, can be found on Thwaites project-site: http://www.thetoasterproject.org/







An impression of the presentation at Test_lab What Crisis:

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