Wooden Salad Tongs

Wooden Salad Tongs


This exercise was an introduction to form giving and the wood shop. The design was restricted to only fair curves. The final salad tongs were fabricated using the bandsaw, power sanders, and hours of hand sanding. 


Exploratory Sketches

After looking to the natural world for inspiration, I started drawing orthographic sketches. It was really important to connect with the curves while drawing in order to understand the feeling that each individual curve conveyed.

First Model

Orthographic sketch

Pink Foam Model

Sketchbook Process


  • Flat, lacks dynamism

  • Handle is not ergonomic, too small

  • Very thick 

  • Transition from paddle to handle is too thin

  • Cuts only lie on the x and y axes

  • Sketch that the design is based off of should be cleaner in order to have a confident design


Refined First Model

In the refinement phase, I added angled cuts. This helped to thin out the form and give it more dynamic qualities. Moving forward, I wanted to improve the handle, primarily by making it larger. 

Second Model

I was not happy with this second iteration. I tried to solve all the issues in this model, but the changes are not harmonious. Before moving on to another model, I refined this form to see if I could uncover any hidden curves. 

Second Model Refined

I took away a lot of mass from this model in order to create negative space between the ground and the form. 


First and Second Model Side-by-Side Comparison

My first model had a lot of great qualities that became over shadowed (in my mind) by the terribly small and uncomfortable handle. I ended up moving too far in the other direction, resulting in another unresolved model with an ergonomic handle and an aggressive looking paddle. 

Both forms were very flat until I added angled curves. These edits resulted in a quiet dynamism that I was looking for; however, the forms are still not resolved. One end works well, but it transitions into an unsatisfying other half. 

How to move forward from two models that work well in two different ways....

Since I ended up with two models with two different ends that I liked, I decided to take the 'Frankenstein' route with the two models. In other words, I cut them up and created a model that was the best of both worlds: ergonomic handle and a paddle with a beautiful form also conducive to interfacing with a salad bowl. 

Before I moved onto wood, I made one final model to ensure that the transition from paddle to handle would be successful. 




Sketchbook Process: combining both models


Final Pink Foam Models

"Frankenstein model" and final pink foam model unrefined

"Frankenstein model" and final pink foam model unrefined


First Raw Wood Cuts


Final Image Gallery