Snake and Step Ladder

This stepladder, made with Mountain Ash, is a unique commission piece designed as a gift for a ‘sweetheart’.

“I try to give my sweetheart a commissioned work for her birthday each year…in order to give some meaning to gifts.”

The brief requested a snake reference, which I pondered for some time, considering things like the application of snake like textures, colour and even form. I adopted a more lateral solution, in that the structural shape of the library ladder spells out the word snake.

“She is afraid of snakes and there are plenty about in the garden and paddocks – the snake reference adds an amulet quality. One day she shot one that threatened her in the dairy and all these babies came out… gross! Apparently many cool climate snakes have live young”

The function of a step / library ladder is primarily to obtain things from a height. However, in a gift context it could quite possibly lend itself to the pretense of a pedestal and subsequently, romance. Through this pedestal-like function, the user is given opportunity to stand at height, symbolically taking the position of high regard or being adored. Its gift context is accentuated and reiterated through the application of text, that runs vertical along the stand / handrail reading; ‘ for my Sweetheart…’.

Lastly, the ladder offers a point where a lamp can be hung. Whether utilised in a library context, or placed in a living room corner, its secondary function provides a reading light for those perched on the highest rung with a book or placed as lamp in the corner of a room, and therefore regular use, as its ladder function is possibly infrequent.

A ladder for your sweetheart in order to revere them all the better.

“The practice of putting women on pedestals began to die out when it was discovered that they could give orders better from there” Betty Grable


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