Thomas Twaites attempts to build a modern consumer appliance by hand – a toaster. But not just assembly, the complete manufacture: digging up iron ore and smelting it to make the iron, mining mica for the thermal insulation, mining copper and casting it to make the electrical pins, and so on.
This book is on my ‘to buy’ list, but in searching for a local book shop that has it in stock (curse you internet shopping!), I found a great “Pop!Tech” video on a talk the author gave on the whole project:
It appears that some of this footage is part of a Channel 4 documentary he is making on the project (see http://www.talent4media.com/talent/thomas-thwaites.php).
Here’s a ABC Radio National interview with Thomas:
Without reading the book yet, it does show how interconnected everything is and ironically how disconnected people have become from the objects they own and use as a result. Thank god for MAKE magazine and similar.