Walker Mahany


Class of: 2024

Major: Product Design BFA

Medium: Aluminum Wire, Wood, and Brush Bristols

Faculty: Carol Peligian

Prompt: Create an inventive object that is inspired by an existing, meaningful object.

I was inspired by the motion and function of paintbrushes and how they interact with a given material. They are able to help make an artist’s vision come to life, and add a sense of unpredictability along the way. A brush isn’t a perfect tool and sometimes inadvertently adds imperfections to a work, but there is beauty in the spontaneity.

I started by deconstructing paintbrushes, removing the bristols from the handles. The bristols from each brush were then separated in half and later wrapped in wire. I worked to make a strong encasing for the bristols and included loops on the sides in order to connect each component. After I connected each piece I designed a handle structure to add more rigidity, but also allow motion and flexibility. The handle was made by wrapping wire around a wire armature. It forms multiple arch that connect at their highest points.

The final object is able to create expressive and dynamic lines and texture. It is meant to be bent and manipulated and its construction is strong enough to allow this.