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  • Writer's pictureRuta Saksens Kalmane


At this point in the Sustainable Strategies module the student projects are entering the production part. The week starts will careful planning of each further step.

Fig. 1: Saksens 2021. Planning of the production week #1 [photographic image]

One of the things I was planning was to choose construction wood for the outcome of my project, but soon after showing my intentions on the course platform, my tutor reminded me to take the sustainability factor into consideration and look for offcuts from construction suppliers. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get offcuts from the local construction place, but instead I got second-hand wood material from my own shed, neighbours and family. Part of the wood that I got was not really suitable for my project and I ended up not using it, however I did use quite a lot of left-over wine boxes. The front panels and back parts turned out to be a perfect fit for what I needed. Initially I had planned to have the construction wood pieces cut in exactly the same size by the construction shop, but I chose to change my approach and cut it in approximately similar sizes at home. Since I had several different saws in my shed along with other construction tools, I chose the best fit for this activity, and the wine boxes were cut in my backyard.

The next stage was to print the images from a laser printer and transfer them to the wooden plates. My goal for the week was to transfer at least 70% of the images, but I have managed to transfer 90% of the images by Sunday. Not every transfer is successful, and I chose to re-do images that seemed damaged in the transfer process. Keeping in mind that I am working with a natural material that can be unpredictable at times and with limited material sources, I did not re-do prints that had minor scratches. After all, nature is not perfect and the strategy of the project itself was never to reach an absolute perfection, because perfection doesn’t and shouldn’t exist.

When the majority of plates were ready, I started to think about how to present them in the pop-up gallery in the park. Thinking about sustainable, natural ways of attaching things together, the solution appeared organically during one of my walks in the park with my dog. There are many fallen tree branches in the park, especially after windy days, so I picked up several of them and used them as screws that hold together wooden plates. I drilled the holes in the plates according to the thickness of the fallen tree branches.

Fig. 2: Saksens 2021. Natural screws [short video]

By the end of the week #1 I have carried out the tasks set in the beginning of the week. I changed some of the plans to be more sustainable in my actions, but in a way that doesn’t hugely affect the quality of the project outcome.


Figure 1: SAKSENS, Ruta. 2021. Planning of the production week #1 [photographic image]. Private collection: Ruta Saksens.

Figure 2: SAKSENS, Ruta. 2021. Natural screws [short video]. Private collection: Ruta Saksens.

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