Inventor, Rob Higgs, created the piece from scrap metal, before casting it in bronze for a limited edition of 25 sculptures. He used scrap metal not only to be eco-friendly but because it’s so easy to source. He says, “I’ve just always grown up rummaging for stuff, doing it on the cheap and there are vast mountains of incredibly useful waste of a mechanical nature. This makes the process far more beautiful.”
This Victorian looking contraption, made up of steam engine parts, clock springs and even cannonballs, not only uncorks your bottle of wine, it also pours you a glass. Higgs explains, “You wind a handle and the corkscrew comes down, winds it, pulls the cork out and moves it out of the way. Whilst you’ve been doing that, a massive clock spring has been wound up and that’s what lifts the bottle up on a long arm and then pours it over the glass and back down.”
You maybe asking yourself, isn’t this an incredibly extravagant way of opening a bottle of wine? One person who will certainly agree with you is the inventor himself. He has been compared to W. Heath Robinson, an early 20th century cartoonist most well known for making illustrations of unnecessarily complex contraptions for simple problems.
However, though partly an excuse to indulge himself in eccentric invention, the corkscrew machine should also be considered a piece of art with a clear and important message. Higgs says, “It is completely excessive and this is a statement on the completely excessive and over industrialized society we live in with all the bells and whistles. Over mechanization and lack of human interaction is a problem in our society.”