Love HeartWood’s Journal

wooden dinner set

by | Jul 5, 2020 | journal, product stories, sustainability

how a pile of plastic inspired the 3 bears wooden dinner set

Over the last 10 years this pile of plastic’s been slowly growing taller in my kitchen cupboard. Why did I need all this plastic? Well when you have a baby weaning and toddlers needing drop-proof tableware, plastic seems like the answer. But is it really? When it’s all shiny and new plastic is certainly appealing but I’m here to testify my pile hasn’t aged well. It’s dull and covered in scratches.

the problem with plastic

On top of this, creating plastic damages the planet. Moreover, it takes 1000 years to degrade, all the while doing more damage. Even more worryingly, we’re becoming increasingly aware of just how bad exposure to plastic is for us with its toxins . The negative impact of human health is too extensive to go into here but the full extent of it can be read in  Plastic & Health: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet. The report was authored by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), Earthworks, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF), IPEN, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (t.e.j.a.s.), University of Exeter, and UPSTREAM. If you want a helpful summary here’s the plastic pollution coalition’s helpful summary.

inspired to make an eco friendly, healthy alternative

So I wanted to design an alternative to my pile of plastic bowls, plates and cups. Items for future babies, toddlers and kids to use safely that wouldn’t pollute the Earth or damage their health. I set myself a brief to produce a wooden dinner set that would be:

  • as tough, lightweight and unbreakable as plastic.
  • not gimmicky. That panda shaped weaning bowl’s cute now, but all too soon your baby becomes a toddler and its usefulness is over. Longevity of design is key. Items need to be useful for the whole family not just for a couple of years but many.

my design process

sketching ideas

pencil sketches for the wooden dinner set
Initial sketch of a wooden bowl and plate showing the cross section. Sketching is a crucial step in the design process.

refining the design

rendered CAD design of the 3 bears wooden dinner set
I develop and refine my designs using CAD software. Creating virtual bowls and plates allowed me to check the relative sizes and proportions. Doing it this way saves a lot of time, energy and materials.

find out more

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