Assignment 4, Flexible formwork
Smocking by Erika Vegerfors
Flexible formwork, Smocking
In assignment 4, I chose to cast concrete based on the textile term smocking. I think from earlier that it’s fun to casting on fabric. The molding language and the soft feel that textile has, is translated into a hard and heavy material. My starting point for this task was to cast a tile and use smocking qualities like ornaments. The task I chose to do was very time-consuming. But, I think everything went well and the recipe for concrete we received from the teachers worked great for me.
we chose a smocking technique that we liked and tried to make a 10 x 10 cm square. everything worked fine, except that we did not think about the demoulding process. in the end the form looked interesting, but the fabric was stuck inside the concrete. after trying with force, we saw that we would have to break the whole thing into a thousand pieces. so we came to the conclusion to burn the fabric, which did not work perfectly either, but it was interesting to try.
we tried to sew a pattern which should create a grid in the end. by hanging it upside down on a small structure, the concrete should have flown down to fill all the free spaces around the holes. unfortunately we were a little bit too optimistic about the size of 10 x 20 cm, so the concrete did not make its way down at all, before it could flow down it got hard and blocked the tubes. we even tried with a straw and an injection, but nothing worked. so the main problem was the size.
For the forth assignment we chose the topics “Impressions” and “Textures”.
We started by doubling the default recipe. After mixing we thought the mix was very dry and almost doubled the amount of water ( +250 g) and that made it smooth and easy to pour into our forms.
Impressions: For this category we used a silky fabric and placed to cups in different heights. The result was a smooth surface with quite good detailing.
Textures: Here we used a laced fabrique with quite big holes and a sheer fabrique under to keep the mixture from leaking. In the result you could clearly see the pattern of the lace.
Assignment 04—Multi material and Smocking & pinching.
We chose the two categories, multi material and smocking & pinching.
Multi material — we wanted to work with something that enveloped or “were threaded on” another material. We stitched three fabric parts that we came across an MDF.
smocking and pinching — In the experiment with smocking and pinching we stitched twopieces of fabric shapes.
1. is a simpler version of smocking where some points go inside, others outside.
2. Here, we wanted to test how we could work with smocking and pinching by adding it after we had concrete in the bag. We put on clothes pegs and a cord that we wrapped around.
Group 8, Hanna-Thea Björö och Bisera Örn.
For this assignment i made two simple casts using, elastic fabric and MDF frame molds. I let the fabric rest on a few sticks which partly supported the concrete mix that was poured on top resulting in a loose double curved form.
The two molds.
Inspired by the pattern of the basic type of Wasa hard bread I set out to replicate this using stretched fabric over wooden plugs as the mold lid. The size of the cast sample was 20x10cm, however the concept can benefit from being cast in a much larger scale as this would help abstracting what was the origin of the pattern. A cut-out Swedish scale figure in 1:5, 1:10 and 1:20 was photographed in front of a mock-up wall made of real bread to test the tile scale and capture the beautiful shadow effects.
The basic recipy in the assignment was used. Small cracks between the plugs appeared, because of either too much or too little water according to the teachers.
A picture of the concrete sample will be added soon when it has hardened completely.
Our group chose the topics hydrostatic pressure and mixed material.
We built a mold of mdf board to which we attached a piece of stretchy fabric, and on top of that a piece of knitted fabric. We poured/stuffed the concrete mix into the mold so that the gravity would shape the finished model.
The pattern showed, but not as much as we expected. We didn’t find the perfect balance between the hydrostatic pressure and the stretchiness of the textile.
For the mixed material assignment, we attached a less stretchy textile between two wooden boards. Underneath these were attached wooden sticks to fix the concrete in the desires size. Our purpose was to stitch the finished piece of concrete to two pieces of wood. To make holes in the concrete we fixed shorter wooden sticks with duck tape, as shown in the picture, and then poured the concrete into the mold. When the concrete was cured we stitched the finished piece together.
Both the fabric and the wooden sticks were easy to remove.
Our plan is to fix the plastic pillars on to the cardboard, using them to creat the impression, then pour the concrete over it and use the fabric to fix the shape. Probably because the plastic pillars are not strong enough, we found out that we cannot make the fabric tight enough and probably cannot get the result we want. So we choose to add the ropes on to our installation, to provide a downside impression as well as help fix the shape. Then it works much better and as a result, we get a piece of concrete showing the upside impression from the pillars and the downside impression from the ropes.
Jigging and Plugs
Our second test is about jigging and plugs. We use large-headed nails to plug two pieces of 5*5 cardboard on to the 10*10 concrete piece, hopefully we could get a piece of concrete with regular patterns on it. Probably because we squeezed it too hard, trying to make the patterns more obvious, otherwise because the plug-in nails have made the concrete structure weak, we found several cracks in our result. The good news is that the patterns are quite visible.
When mixing the fabric-concrete, we needed to add an additional 290 g of water to a 1 kg mix in order for the concrete to flow easily.
We used the non-strechty fabric and placed nails on a board underneath the fabric. When adding the concrete, the load of the concrete hopefully creates a flowy landscape around the pikes of the nails.
Varying stretch 10×20.
We placed a non-stretchy fabric around a frame, made some holes and then added the strechty fabric on top. The weight of the concrete should then make deeper “valleys” of concrete where the holes in the non-stretchy fabric are.