Moline Watering Can
Industrial Design: Studio Den Den
Through both form and material, the Moline Watering Can is designed to fit comfortably in the context of the home or the tool shed alike. While the typical watering can differs drastically in size and form as it pertains to indoor or outdoor use, the water volume and footprint of this vessel averages out to function well in both settings. George Coffin chose the material combination of rugged steel combined with a wooden handle as a nod to traditional gardening tools, and the color, a powder-coated green, is a playful reference to the iconic John Deere tractor. The goal was to design a Watering Can that looks elegant in the home, and withstands the ruggedness of daily use.
Quick sketching to establish proportion, color, handle shape, and connection methods. At this early stage, sketching and note taking are one in the same. I use this space often to ask questions relating to the materiality, construction methods, context and philosophy of the object, which can then be answered by a combination of prototyping, research, and further sketching.
3D modeling is a great way to dial in proportions, and quickly iterate on specific areas of a product. Chipboard models of the watering can were created from unfolding 3D planar surfaces in Rhino. Looking at forms in real space, and observing their relationship with surrounding objects is crucial to the design process. This chipboard model was also a great platform for testing and prototyping the handle, and its connection method.
The watering can is built from a combination of laser cut and hand rolled mild steel sheet, and both laminated and solid ash. After laser cutting, the body is slip rolled into its truncated conical form, and the seam is welded. The lid is formed by a hydraulic press, and welded, along with the bottom, to form the main vessel. Next, the spout, which is a much thinner gauge metal, is cut out with a shear and hand rolled into shape. It is then welded to the adjoining hole. Finally threaded plugs are welded to the top and side of the main body to connect the wooden handle. The curved section of the handle is laminated ash, which is then routed to a full round, and joined with the larger diameter dowel. The handle is affixed to the body with stainless hardware, making it easy to replace if need be.