The Sullivan side table part I – the cutting of the steel.
5 years ago · Designs · 3 min read

The Sullivan side table part I – the cutting of the steel.

You can hear the metal before you see it. The unmistakable scream of an angle grinder as it finds its path through a solid piece of steel. So powerful that it almost silences all other noises in the workshop.

Then there’s the smell; a faint burning with a kind of earthiness to it at the same time. A smell Lal Bahadhur knows intimately; he’s been working with metal for fifteen years.

 

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Now it’s the turn of your eyes. They immediately light up in every sense of the word.

At a far corner of the factory, Lal stands at his machine. He brings the grinder down on the steel rods, cutting them into the pieces that will eventually form the Sullivan’s frame, gold sparks are set free, flying out in a thick stream like fireworks and hitting the wall opposite him. The wall is entirely blackened in places from years of being struck in the same spot. Like the Sullivan has left a permanent reminder of life from its early days.

“I’m an expert at cutting metal. I can cut up to 25mm in thickness. That’s thick. That takes strength,” he says.

 

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We watch as the Sullivan’s journey continues. From cutting to welding, we see, we smell, we hear every single step.

From the distinctive Z-figure and angular S-shape to the open-sided C-design, the completed Sullivan side tables‘ frames will soon stand erect.

 

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Standing back, together we admire his work. We ask if we can take his photo, but Lal is shy. It’s not until we mention his children that he begins to smile. A small, warm smile.

And with that we leave Lal and the Sullivan, as it begins its way to the next stage of its design process.

 

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