The Toaster Project / Thomas Thwaites

Presented by ZERO1

The Toaster Project (2010) chronicles Thomas Thwaites’ attempt to make an electric toaster from scratch - seeking iron, copper, mica, nickel and crude oil (for the plastic case) from disused mines and other sources around Britain, attempting to process these materials at home, and finally forming them into a version of a product that can be bought for only a few dollars. This nine-month process to make a simple toaster is absurd, but perhaps so too is the massive industrial activity we pursue to achieve additional small comforts at ever lower prices. The laboriousness of producing even the most basic material from the ground up exposes the fallacy in a return to some romantic ideal of a pre-industrialised time. But at a moment in time when the effects of industry on the environment are no longer trivial even on a global scale, the throwaway toasters of today seem absurd themselves.

This project is presented as part of the exhibition 
Seeking Silicon Valley at the ZERO1 Garage 
September 12-December 8, 2012
Admission is free


Thomas Thwaites

lives and works in London, UK

Artist website


Thomas Thwaites is a designer (of a more speculative sort), interested in technology, science and futures research, as well as communicating complex subjects in engaging ways. He graduated from the Royal College of Art Design Interactions MA in 2009, and has since undertaken a number of commissioned projects, including work on; social trends, futures forecasting, biotechnology, the history and philosophy of science and bicycles.