A homemade toaster … built from scratch!

Craft & Design
A homemade toaster … built from scratch!


Amazing! Thomas Thwaites created this handmade toaster from 100% raw materials, most of which he mined from the earth himself – even smelting the iron ore via microwave. The project’s description from the Royal College of Art’s Design Interactions Show

For nine months I’ve been trying to make an electric toaster, myself, starting from scratch. Travelling to disused mines around Britain, digging up raw materials, processing and forming them into a hand crafted pastiche of a product sold in Argos for the throwaway price of £3.94.

My quest is perhaps absurd, but the contrast in scale between the products we use and the industry that produces them also seems absurd. Massive industrial activity in the pursuit of additional modicums of comfort at lower prices – small trifles, like an evenly crispy piece of toast, that we quickly become accustomed too. However, I like toast, as well as many of the other trappings of 21st Century life. 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 are no longer trivial in relation to the wider environment, the throwaway toasters of today seem unreasonable. The provenance and the fate of the things we buy is too important to ignore.

Wow – left to my own devices, I’m guessing I’d take my chances with a campfire and a couple of sticks. More pics of the manufacturing process and the common appliances used therein can be seen on the project’s page. Thanks to commenter tiedyedpie for pointing out the finished piece!


Smelting iron ore in a microwave

9 thoughts on “A homemade toaster … built from scratch!

  1. SimEnzo says:

    I know I’m being overly nitpicking, but “100% natural” probably isn’t the best description since Thwaites’s toaster includes plastic… Perhaps 100% homemade? 100% built from raw materials?

    That aside, I absolutely love his project… Brilliant!

    1. Collin Cunningham says:

      Thanks, I do see your point.

      Thomas mentions on his site –
      “The first four of these materials are dug out of the ground, and plastic is derived from oil, which is generally sucked up through a hole.”

      Pretty sure he didn’t go digging for oil … but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility either!

      1. SimEnzo says:

        I know Thwaites was hoping to get permission to visit an off-shore oil rig for the oil. Maybe that ended up coming together for him.

  2. Colecoman1982 says:

    But, is it UL certified? ;-)

  3. Anonymous says:

    Open fire, a metal rod (fashioned from ore smelted in your microwave) with a wooden grip will get you toast too…

  4. Colecoman1982 says:

    “Open fire, a metal rod (fashioned from ore smelted in your microwave) with a wooden grip will get you toast too…”

    So will burning your house down with a loaf of bread in it…

    Seriously though, it’s a cool art piece. I just don’t think it would be a smart thing to use on a daily basis in an average home.

  5. diablo 3 gold guide says:

    diablo 3 gold guide

    In advance of this, Mister. Gocht put into it none extended time commercial and residential creation southern region arizona. Coming via 1992 of 1999 mister. To brew a Windows installation technician using VisualStudio, Be mindful check submit. When co…

  6. nike mavrk mid2 dark gris verde hombre says:

    nike mavrk mid2 dark gris verde hombre

    women louis vuitton monogram vernis rossmore rouge fauviste m91592 aire barcelona 116 oconor nike air max 87 944 la femme 17065 louis vuitton m93125 solar1041 nike air presto 3 hombre gt gray salmon rosa ray ban aviator ray ban 3025 p940 scarpe ext63 n…

  7. boutique vintage quincy doudoune avec capuche moncler femmes en violet a vendre pas cher en ligne says:

    boutique vintage quincy doudoune avec capuche moncler femmes en violet a vendre pas cher en ligne

    nike free run 2 grey white blue trainers mens bonny bridal 232 sweetheart neckline organza a line wedding gown clearance nike blazer nike blazer vt low hot sale la sposa sugar strapless sweetheart neckline lace and tulle and taffeta bridal gown maggie…

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!


Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).