© Heba Malaeb
2012-2017

drop is a set of spinning tops made to add a small element of wonder to their home: they are at once carefully-crafted wooden display objects and unexpected, understated toys that transform when engaged.
Fall 2014

 
Because of the position of their center of gravity, the tops change shape and move around when spun; there's a comfort in their predictable unpredictability. Thus, using them is an exercise in relinquishing control and just being in the moment.
 
This project was an exercise in micro-manufacturing, i.e. in-house batch production. Repeatability and scaleability were big factors to consider.
 




PROCESS

 
The project was jump-started by an accident, when I dropped one of my turned pieces and it began to spin; when in motion, it looked like a sphere.


From that discovery, I wanted to make spinning tops that would change into spheres
when spun.

 
At first, I tried to replicate the droopy-apple form of the object, believing it was the only way I'd get the same sphere-in-motion effect.
 
After accidentally removing too much of the flare at the tip, I found that this new flare-less form worked better aerodynamically for my purposes, and was faster to make.
 
With weeks of tweaks and practice, I developed a system where I could quickly produce three almost-identical tops at a time.
 
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