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Developing TOTSUP, the Big Red Bus reward chart for children – on Crowdfunder from 15 March!

  • March 16, 2016
Developing TOTSUP, The Big Red Bus Reward Chart For Children – On Crowdfunder From 15 March!

Graphics design lecturer, Sally Marks, is the inventor behind TOTSUP, the Big Red Bus reward chart for children aged two and a half to six years old. Once Sally won funding to develop a working prototype, she came to us to turn her design into a real product. She had been given Mike Harvey’s name at Amalgam by a contact at Exeter University, where she first sought support for her start-up.   https://youtu.be/66RKQRmK-6E   After the final TOTSUP prototype was unveiled, we heard from Sally that feedback from parents who have been trialling it has been resoundingly positive. The additional research conducted using the prototype led Sally to launch TOTSUP on Crowdfunder, to secure funds for developing the mobile app. The campaign is on from 15 March for 30 days. From design to prototype Here’s Sally’s story from bringing her idea to meet us at the workshop: “As a parent,…

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Behind the scenes at the Bottle Yard studios – Amalgam’s on-site exhibition and meeting space is open

  • January 8, 2016
Behind The Scenes At The Bottle Yard Studios – Amalgam’s On-site Exhibition And Meeting Space Is Open

The Bottle Yard Studios opened in 2010, transforming a disused industrial space into a vibrant and busy creative hub for production. More international companies are bringing filming to the south west to use the space, which is great news for Bristol and the creative businesses here. However, for the art department, there is a significant challenge to find a company they can trust to produce high quality props, if they require last minute items, artefacts or signage to complete their production shoots. The site is on the outskirts of Bristol, with superb access to some of England’s most exciting film locations on its doorstep, from Regency Georgian to gritty industrial and picturesque coastline. However the majority of traditional creative service providers are based in the centre of the cities, like Amalgam’s central workshop in Bristol, which makes it pot luck for production teams seeking help with their props and physical…

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An Overview of our Sculpting Services

  • October 30, 2015
An Overview Of Our Sculpting Services

We are in the run-up to our third annual Halloween Pumpkin carving competition, the #AmalgamCarveOff, and being professional makers we are in with a good chance - however, the competition is stiff. With sculpting vegetables at the forefront of most people's imaginations this week, it's worth talking about the sculpting services we can offer, the projects we've worked on, and the role this traditional skill plays in the age of 3D printing.   Animals and Props Our sculpts tend to be one-off, bespoke pieces, but in some cases serve as casting masters to create multiple copies in different materials. The Big Midge for BBSRC has been artworked to high levels of realism, and beyond hand-making and paint finishing required no further processes.   The Rats of Medusa, for the BBC fantasy series Atlantis, took some thinking about how to create a texture that was both fur and stone. We settled on…

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Laser Engraving Service: Drummond + Hammett Cigar Box Guitar Components

  • July 10, 2015
Laser Engraving Service: Drummond + Hammett Cigar Box Guitar Components

As well as a complete design and fabrication service, we offer each process within our workshop - from CNC machining, to vacuum casting, to sculpting - as individual services. We recently provided our laser engraving service to local cigar box guitar makers Drummond + Hammett, etching their distinctive buffalo logo onto various surfaces and components of their instruments. Their exquisite, hand-finished craftsmanship is contrasted with subtle, precision-machined touches, as seen here featured on their 'ResoPhonic' guitar model.   These guitars are stunning works of craftsmanship and passion - head to the Drummond + Hammett website to find out more.      

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Stainless Steel Sculpture for Blue Peter

  • June 11, 2015
Stainless Steel Sculpture For Blue Peter

Our sculpture of the BBC brand icon, the Blue Peter Galleon, is afloat in Bristol! When the BBC rang to ask us about making a sculpture of their iconic galleon which features on the Blue Peter badges, we were delighted to explore their options. As with most television props, the timing was tight to design and build it – so that filming could go ahead on schedule. We had a total of five days, from taking on the brief, to have the model ready for collection on the Monday by the Blue Peter presenter Radzi. The Blue Peter Galleon is easily recognised, so it was a challenging job to preserve the image and accurately re-produce it in 3D stainless steel. The background In conjunction with Avon Wildlife Trust, BBC Bristol has been developing a wildlife garden at the side of the Broadcasting House building on Whiteladies Road in Bristol –…

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Bridging the Gap – Clifton Suspension Bridge Educational Models, and ‘Shape My City’ events

  • May 7, 2015

Bridge Exhibition Educational Models at CSBVC   The Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor's Centre, CSBVC, is hosting our Bridge Exhibition, each bridge being an engaging educational model to teach the engineering principles of bridges to youngsters. The exhibition was previously installed at the Architecture Centre on Bristol's lively waterfront as part of the Bridge's 150th anniversary. Details on the Architecture Centre exhibition can be found here.   The Bridge Exhibition features a range of different bridges presented as kits; for example, the 'Arch' bridge is made with a system of blocks, which must be put together in the correct sequence for the bridge not to fall apart. In every case, these educational models were designed so that children could understand the forces and principles at work.   The educational models were designed and fabricated completely in-house, with factors such as durability, ease of use and safety firmly in mind.   Shape My City at…

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Exploring Scale and Vision – Update

  • January 21, 2015
Exploring Scale And Vision – Update

The Architectural Model: Exploring Scale and Vision opens today! We are delighted that our architectural model show, Exploring Scale and Vision, opens to the public today and hope that you find time to visit The Architecture Centre in Bristol between 21 January and 15 March to see it. Many of our clients have loaned their architectural models and project photos to the display, for which we are grateful – thank you. Highlights on show include several planning models from Conran and Partners and Stride Treglown; competition models for Weston Williamson – the Living Bridge, Miami Metromover and Luton Airport and Caspian, the architectural model boat built for Claydon Reeves,  Redcliffe ProCathedral, and the model of Cheddar Gorge commissioned by NVB Architects for Longleat Enterprises Ltd and case studies to help explain the process of making architectural models. The Architecture Centre is hosting several events during February which we are supporting…

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The Architectural Model: Exploring scale and vision at the Architecture Centre January 2015

  • December 12, 2014
The Architectural Model: Exploring Scale And Vision At The Architecture Centre January 2015

Exciting news from our workshop in the run up to Christmas – we are busy preparing the next exhibition for the Architecture Centre, and it’s all about one of our favourite topics – yes, that’s right, The architectural model. To develop the display we were asked to reveal the processes behind our craft and share our insight on how an architectural model contributes to design. Of course, it all begins with great design – whether the model is for an architect or even a product prototype – yet when we interrogate their design we have a unique opportunity to help our clients realise their vision. An architectural model – irrespective of its’ key objective, for a competition or planning consultation – always offers the audience something special which a computer generated image (CGI) cannot. With our models, we use a wide range of techniques to capture the essence of a…

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An overview of our CNC machining services

  • November 11, 2014
An Overview Of Our CNC Machining Services

At Amalgam we provide a range of premier CNC machining services. This covers machining forms from client-supplied CAD, to being able to offer a complete end-to-end design and fabrication service. We can develop technical drawings based on conceptual images, machine the parts and assemble the structure, all completely in-house. We can also arrange for transportation and installation of larger projects, as we did with the range of EDF Energy interactives. Beyond simply being a cutting tool for sheet material, we are constantly developing new and better techniques for using the CNC within our workshop. In this article we’ll be going over some of these applications, which in turn are services we can offer our clients. Substructure Design and Fabrication This Rooftop Yurt was one of three constructed for the Timber Frame Company as an interlocking skeleton of ribs cut from sheets of plywood. The structure was then skinned with timber and copper creating a sealed environment. By…

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Educational models by Amalgam on show in Bristol

  • October 22, 2014
Educational Models By Amalgam On Show In Bristol

Making an exhibition of ourselves? Bristol’s Architecture Centre, on the waterfront quay by the Arnolfini, is currently showing Desire Lines: Romance and Rationalism in Bridge Design until Sunday 16 November. The Centre gave us the brief to create a set of educational models with which visitors – especially children – could interact and experiment with types of bridge design. So, the exhibition features three bridge building kits, designed and constructed here in Amalgam’s workshop. The aim is to inspire visitors with the diversity of bridge building techniques, as well as provide an historical background as part of Bristol’s Bridge 150 celebrations. Unique to this display, the Architecture Centre and Amalgam devised a set of top trumps cards – to add a fun and memorable element into the exhibition display – as well as offering a bridge drawing competition for the junior visitors. Also on show, back  in Bristol after several…

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