Tea Caddy Frame designed and drawn by Andrew McAvoy
Engineered by James McAvoy
Everybody .. likes to drink Tea
Checking the raw materials at Reeves fabrication before manufacture.
General arrangement drawn by Andrew McAvoy
Note the Diagonal Bracing in homage to the PB work of George Wyllie RSA
Detail drawn by Andrew McAVoy
Clayton Reeves cutting and welding
Andrews Father - Engineer James McAvoy inspects the welds during fabrication
Assembly completed at Reeves Fabrication in Dalmarnock
First trials on wheels at Reeves Fabrication in Dalmarnock
Trial on wheels with Glas(s) performance at Tramway Theatre Glasgow
The Tea Caddy arrives back at Tramway
The engagement tool is trundled into position n Albert Drive ready for asking the question - Who is my neighbour ?
Glas (S) performance team host a community Tea Drinking session on Albert Drive
hit this link to see the Tea caddy being wheeled back to Tramway.
Appropriate scale and setting.
Andrew was asked to choose his perfect setting on Albert Drive -He chose this - Photographer Julia Bauer and film maker Basharat Khan record the process of setting up next to Alexander "Greek" Thompson's Gardeners House
The Tea Caddy sitting on Albert Drive
Tea Caddy in Tramway Theatre as part of final exhibition
Everybody likes to drink Tea
Tea Caddy - A reduced House on wheels performing as "Everybody's House" on the Albert Drive Project Client - Glasgow Life Project direction by Glas(s) Performance - via Tramway Theatre - Glasgow 2012 -2013
The Tea Caddy was imagined and drawn for the Albert Drive Project. Andrew McAvoy imagined and designed it as one of a number of individually commissioned Artists who participated in this project
This was first drawn by hand as a Wylliesque paper object - Then drawn and thought through fixing by fixing and turned into manufacturing drawings in discussion with his Engineer father James McAvoy
Together they tightly controlled its making through manufacture, so that it was lean and exactly as it should be.
Many small details were sorted in the makers workshop through discussion between the Engineer and the manufacturer.
It was derived from the architecture of Albert Drive and in discussion with the performative Artists Jess, Tash and Rachel at _ Glas(s) Performance.
It was equally inspired by the ongoing work of the other commissioned Artists such as Nic Green and her Vivarium.
The Albert Drive Project as a whole was inspirational in teasing practice further toward Community engagement. The Tea Caddy simply a carefully made and placed mobile engagement tool.
See - www.glassperformance.co.uk
Seen above with the work of Shauna McMullen who distilled the color pallet associated with the moods encountered on a mile long ancient route to the river - " Albert Drive "
It was Engineered for strength, wind safety and mobility by Andrews mettalurgist father James Wilson McAvoy . It was built by Reeves Fabrication in Dalmarnock.
It came with wheels.
EVOLUTION OF THE IDEA
Tramway used to be a place of Tram Car and in Wartime - aeroplane manufacture. After WW2 it became a Tram terminus and in the 1980s a Transport museum. Those Industrial narratives are mostly erased from collective memory but subtly evident in the Industrial Architecture you find there.Its now a thriving Arts Center sitting at the easterly terminus of a mile long Albert Drive. This year Tramway was home to the Turner Prize.
The Tea Caddy was destined to finish its role in the project by being installed in the Gallery at Tramway so it was important that it related to the embeded narrative of Tramway.
For Industrial production relating to Tramways Industrial past, we had to broaden our outlook. Where were materials coming from nowadays ? ...and that enquiry led us to Dalmarnock ... where materials were historically coming from.
Andrew was engaged on some research on Sir William Arrol and the structural solution utilised in forming the Tea Caddy gives a firm nod to him. It subtly suggested the campaign to save Sir William Arrol's house from the wrecking ball - by Friends of Seafield House - FOSH
Nearby Dalmarnock hosted Sir William Arrol's Iron works where the materials and smaller sections of the Forth Rail Bridge and components of some of Scotland's most Iconic Industrial structures were fabricated.
James McAvoy served his apprenticeship in the late 1950s next door to the Dalmarnock Iron works. He remarked - " In the 50s - When you were starting out in your career it was common to dress up + expectantly and aspirationally walk the streets of Dalmarnock ... It was a working neighbourhood then and there were a number of doors open to apprentices - I walked through Davie United's when others walked through Arrols, i was commonly in there though as the firms worked together sharing skills and swapping components"
Almost 50 years since he last did so and after the apocalyptic destruction of the Industrial Infrastructure in that place - James stepped back into Arrols metal forming shed in Dalmarnock. One of only a few buildings left of a complex of 20 hectares.
We made a serious of visits and arranged for entry to the last component of The Arrol Iron works. We watched the old gantries running in Sir Williams Plating shed and we considered how the heavier Industry and skill base had been squandered .
Amidst that experience of revisiting Dalmarnock ... this Tea Caddy evolved ... as a small metal essay in material and fabrication. A discussion between father and son.
They thought for a moment where do we sit now ...relative to metal ....in terms of material and manufacture.?
James and Andrew, then visited a "Showmans Yard" occupying one of the nearbye demolition sites. They watched the Reeves brothers fabricating and sensed some residuals of high skill.
The Reeves were busy making intricate metal things by hand - 2 brothers - Jackson and Clayton with their Dad Victor watching over with an Eagles eye. And a team of apprentices learning and making - Moving, folding and spinning Fairground apparatus.
Instantly - We had a starting point in material + maker
A demountable wheelable building was imagined on that day and then hand drawn and then engineered and checked.
Glas(s) performance as Performative Artists loved it instantly . Tramway Theatre as hosts for the Albert drive project were cautious but liked it. Project manager Abigail Howkins steered it calmly and cleverly through the civic buruacracy.
After many months of proposals we had the green light and we commissioned the Reeves brothers to make it ....in what might be Scotland's last produced raw metal - Alluminium..
The Tea Caddy needed to be light and strong to be trundled over the Cobbles of Pollokshields .
Tempered tubes were required.
Although we could source the raw alluminium close to home, the sections we needed were missing,
So the research continued.
The skilled forming and tempering work had been handed to the Benelux countries and we had to buy back the lightweight hollow sections at 7 x the raw cost of the material.
To keep the costs of manufacture down - Andrew acted as contractor - buying and transporting the materials.
Just a pity the Arrol works were not still doing the skilled tempering of metal ....as they once were.
The Tea Caddy was deployed as Everybody's House over one year as part of the Albert Drive Project . It enabled 8 people at a time, to sit and drink tea together. People that would otherwise not be taking Tea together.
It highlighted the changes, joys and pressures being sensed but not necessarily voiced,... on this mile long drive .
After careful instructions in set up and use, we surrendered the Tea Caddy to Glas(s) performance for the duration of the project for street based Community Engagement.
A film was made by Basherat Khan and shown at the final symposium.
Photography was undertaken by Arpita Shah Choreography by Janice Parker
Nic Green created a vivarium .in the allotments where dialogue and consideration were extended.
The Albert Drive project was developed in collaboration with Ann NIsbet of www.ann nisbet.com through the firm of Edo Architecture,and commissioned by Glasgow Tramwaytheatre.
We commissioned our own photographer to capture the Tea Caddy in action. Julia Bauer and her Photography is featured below.
The Tea Caddy was generated as an Architectural form to relate to the elaborate Georgian and Victorian Domestic Architecture that lines Albert Drive. It was to be deployed in relation to some very fine buildings. In technical resolve it aimed to say something of the wartime aeroplane manufacture that happened in Tramway through the hand working of aluminium.
In scale as a transportable small object it played metaphorically on David Napier's miniaturised Georgian Tea Caddie Houses at Kilmun in Argyll.
Metaphorically as a Tea Caddy House it was attainable and manageable.
Under the direction of Glass performance it became "Everybody's House".
As a small thing It was and it remains to be - Commodious, practical, movable, re usable,
We were lucky to have the "in house" metallurgist's eye on every last fixing and its capacity to withstand loading.
As Sir William Arrol was known to say " not a single rivet must be wasted "
As with most small things at the end of Arts projects they tend to gather dust. The Tea Caddy was saved and retained by the Engineer who grows Tomatoes in it.
Its still available for service and can occassionally be used to give Communities and projects a leg up when they need it.
It takes a half days work for 2 people to put it up and the same to take it down exclusive of transport - Contact us for more info.
As with any piece of infrastructure; no matter how lean, its a logistical consideration to think about deploying it in the Public Realm.
Tea was served in it at The Environmental Arts Festival Scotland EAFS at Morton Castle in Sep 2015
+ A box of " studio Objects from George Wyllie -RSA ' s studio was carried with it and discussed.by Matt Baker, Jan Hogarth and Chris Freemantle - who were amidst EAFS.2015
Shortly after being saved The Tea Caddy spent a xmas indoors