I wanted to make a fondue set built around the affection
that I feel for my family. My main design goal was creating a
personalized experience that highlights common bonds (the pot
and stand) as well as individual differences (the forks). The pot
needed to have even heat distribution so that the fondue (either
cheese or chocolate) would stay warm without burning, and
the stand needed to be very stable to prevent spills. I wanted
something with smooth surfaces that would be easy to clean.

SolidWorks, VCarve Pro, Casting, milling, turning (wood lathe),
welding (TIG & oxy-acetylene), hand-forging

Aluminum, bronze, stainless steel, brass, copper, tamboti,
canarywood, redheart, cherry

My biggest challenge was achieving satisfactory surface finish on
large cast parts with organic shapes. This was my first experience
with casting, and I went through many test pours before I
was comfortable with the result. I ended up making three
separate patterns (one for the pot and two for the components
of the stand) and modifying them several times. Even after I
started getting good results from casting the finishing process
was still fairly arduous. The exterior of the pot was relatively
straightforward to sand and polish, but the interior was
substantially more difficult since I couldn’t get access with power
tools. On both the pot and the stand I uncovered tiny areas of
porosity during finishing, so I experimented with welding in filler.
Oxy-acetylene worked relatively well on the bronze, but only TIG
worked for the aluminum - the oxy-acetylene simply couldn’t
generate enough localized heat, even with the largest torch tip.