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Ketel One Modern Craft Project Expert Christian Condo of The Modern Motorcycle Company

12-12-2012

Christian Condo of The Modern Motorcycle Company is one of our three expert panellists for the Ketel One Modern Craft Project. Christian has created a one of a kind piece of furniture especially for and inspired by Ketel One to be housed at The Black Pearl in Fitzroy, one of Melbourne's best bars. Here is what he had to say about the creative process.

I was asked if i'd ever made a sculpture from motorcycle parts. No, but I had some ideas. I thought about a coat rack. I wasn't sure.  

I was re-watching the Big Lebowski - the part where the Dude floats though a landscape of synchronised bowling pins, and I had it - synchronised handlebars.

I would make a table by stitching together high rise handlebars to form a table base for a glass top.

I just had to find a handlebar with a width suitable for table height and just enough rise and pullback so as to provide table feet in a stable enough position. And I needed 11 of the same bars.

I sourced the perfect ones from one of my part suppliers and ordered them in. First the chrome had to be stripped off in order to provide a suitable surface to weld and then paint. I outsourced this to my electroplaters, the guy who usually puts the chrome ON my parts. 

Then the bars were strapped loosely to a piece of pipe fabricated to just the right diameter so each bar touched the next.  Then the painstaking task of arranging each bar in the exact same orientation as the next. Once the bars were where I wanted them, I welded them together. 

A copper finish was then applied to the bars, recalling the copper pots used in the distillation process of making the vodka Ketel One is known for.

The handlebars are so well suited to this arrangement that without handgrips on the bar ends, one could barely recognise they were motorcycle handlebars. I went for my favourite of all time grips, the Amal-style early barrel grips by POSH in Japan, in white to match the copper.

Then to finish it - a 10mm thick, 750mm diameter disc of toughened glass, cut fresh for me by my local glazer. 

Et voila. 

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