As a part of the course we had an assignment called flexible formwork. During this assignment we learned about the possiblity of casting concrete in fabric.
I was very intrigued by this assignment since this technique allowed for casting concrete with a very soft appearance. I liked how the concrete could be both permanent and hard and at the same time show great softness. It also allows for natural forces, such as gravety, to affect the casting.
From thinking of this I got the idea that concrete could mimic the softness of bodyparts. Since concrete makes the transformation from being a soft mix into a hard shape I wanted to take advantage of that it is possible to reveal impressions in the casts. And so I thought of what I could find out with this and I came to the conclusion that I wanted to make casts of bodyparts which are deformed by being pressed against something else. By these casts I want to expose the surface of the body which is otherwise hidden behind what it is compressed against.
Thinking more about this I realized that breasts are the perfect bodypart for showing this. The casts that I have made consists of breasts reavealing what they look like when being pressed against another bodypart. The casts show a frozen moment and might also tell an entire story.
For the casts I used the recipe which we recieved for the flexible formwork assignment. The rather loose mix made it possible for the casts to deform when pressed against something else but at the same time maintain its shape.
For the casting I used two layers of nylon stockings, fastened on a sheet of wood. By giving the stocking just a litle bit of shape the cast kind of shaped itself and the final result was therefore rather unpredictable. For me this was very important since I see this as an experimentation in deformation.
Learning about the adaptive formwork technique we wanted to take the opportunity to cast something which would not have been possible to cast otherwise. We came to the idea of using tape in order to create a mold. We chose fruit as our shapes and by rolling tape around them we were able to create a mold which had the shape of the fruits.
In contrast to the rather ‘free’ creation of the fruit molds we also made a more strict geometrical shape out of paper.
The concrete is still drying but will soon be taken out of its molds. We are a bit worried that the slurry might not have passed through the aggregate, even though we made the recipie with one part cement and one part water. But we will see what happends.
To be continued!
The objective for assignment four was to cast in a flexible formwork. Casting in a flexible formwork can be done in different ways and we chose to explore how to cast according to the topics of ‘varying stretch’ and ‘impressions’.
For the pannels we used the semi-self compacting concrete recipe which was handed out with the asignment.
Cement: 0.330 kg
Sand (0-4 mm) 0.417 kg
L40 0.175 kg
VMA 0.00625 kg
Water: 0.148 kg
Master Gelenium 51 0.003125 kg
After making the blend we found that the mixture was a bit too dry and we added 60 g of extra water. Looking at the casts we made we can draw the conclusion that we might have needed some more water to make the cament more flexible and tereby avoiding it to crack the way it did but also to make the concrete fully reflect all the details from the impression of the materials.
The first picture shows the result of the experiment for ‘varying stretch’. In this experiment we used jersey fabric and string to create a variation in the cast.
This picture shows the result for the experiment for the ‘impressions’. For this cast we used plastic shot glases, set out in a pattern, and a stiffer type of fabric. Since the result is a bit ruff we would like to try the same method but with a smoother mix and a more stretchy fabric.
This is the result of the new cast, which we are very happy with!
We wanted to investigate how concrete would behave when pouring it onto a almost vertical surface. So we attached a plastic sheet in a curve-like shape towards the wall. After mixing the concrete, with double amount of water, we decided to add some colour. Because we fell so much in love with the intense blue colour, we decided to not mix it in but to sprinkle some on top and see what would happen to in in the pour.
The result was quite nice. On the slope the concrete got really thin and cracked quite easy, in the “pool” the pigmentation gathered and created nice patterns of colour.
Looking at the thicker piece, the “pool”, you can see the difference in structure depending on what it was casted against. The plastic film created an extremely soft surface compared to the top which was quite 3dimentional and where the most of the colour ended up.
The edges are very thin and also very fragile. To summarise, it became a study of colour and pigmentation in concrete, but also a basic demonstation on how the surface of the form effects the surface of the cast.
Assignment 2 calculations:
The first cast, where the sand was the variable, our cast was very nice, compact and grey because we only used cement and almost no sand.
The second cast, with water as variable, we had very little liquids in the mix. This resulted in a very dry “cake” that fell apart when taking it out of the form.
When it comes to the last three, with pigmentation, almost no colour change can be detected. When mixing the three we felt that we needed to add more water. They where too dry to put into the formwork. Unfortunately we just added random amounts, and also different in between the different casts. therefore there is a difference in colour and density between them.
In contrast to the swelling and expanding process of fermentation I’m also interested in the way chloroplasts are tightly arranged within plant cells. Chloroplasts are organelles (a subunit within the cell) which main role is to conduct photosynthesis. The chloroplasts are protected by a double membrane which protects and gives room for this process within the cell. What I find fascinating is the way hexagonal shapes are created just by the tight packing of the organelles.
Link to image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/49/Plagiomnium_affine_laminazellen.jpeg/345px-Plagiomnium_affine_laminazellen.jpeg
I’m interested in the way shape is created through the process of fermentation. Fermentation occurs when sugars are converted to gases, acids or alcohol. The process releases energy which means that the structure of the fermenting material will change, often making it bulk far beyond it’s pervious shape. Swelling doughs and ageing blue cheeses are examples of what this process could look like.
Link to image: https://blogg.loppi.se/elsiesparon/files/2013/06/24.jpg