Final assignment – Fungus shelves

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Inspired by the shapes of tree-growing shelf fungi I set out to do my own ones in concrete to use as ordinary shelves. Fungus-looking shapes were drawn on MDF boards and glued 90 degrees to each other, adding a stretchy t-shirt fabric to make up the front side. The fluid mix from assignment 4 was used, including the plasticizer to be able to have some working time before it would harden.

Two casting rounds were made, the first one with two smaller 15 cm wide prototypes. Plastic and fabric was tried for the front side, with fabric turning out as the winner with its more smooth look.

For the second round 3 shelves were made, one smaller 20cm wide variant with simple round edges and two considerably larger around 35-45 cm wide with wobbly edges.

The second round didn’t quite turn out as I wanted it to. The fabric I was using wasn’t strong enough for the massive amount of concrete and I had a hard time controlling the shape. I also failed filling the molds up with enough concrete to fill up all of the shape, as I realized when the concrete was already hardening. Also, the sheer weight of such big concrete objects would make them quite unsuitable for hanging on a wall.

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A smaller sized mold with a stronger fabric stretched to its very limits would have made it easier and more stable to work with and easier to fill to the brim.

In the end I am most satisfied with my small shelf from the first round, and the cloudy white molds themselves were really the most beautiful things I have produced in this course.

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/Jakob Lif

Assignment 5

Our ambition was to cast a a low cylinder shape or a circle using just a few plastic bags. With one inner bag filled with fine sand to act as a the cylinders inner form giver and outer bag to hold the actual cast. The two bags were placed in a bucket filled with sand to act as the cylinder outer form giver.

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The bags and the different layers prior to casting.

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The cast. A cylindrical form with two “free” plastic influenced surfaces.

“Husman” concrete facade tiles

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.

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Assignment 2, Group 1

mix 1

250 g cement

125 g sand (0,5 parts instead of 3)

100 g water

 

mix 2

250 g cement

750 g sand

25 g water (0,1 parts instead of 0,4)

 

mix 3

250 g cement

750 g sand

100 g water

0,25 g blue pigment (0,1% of 250 g cement)

 

mix 4

250 g cement

750 g sand

100 g water

0,25 g red pigment (0,1% of 250 g cement)

mix5

250 g cement

750 g sand

100 g water

0,25 g black pigment (0,1% of 250 g cement)

 

mix 1

The mix was very liquid, and made a strong smooth shiny sample when hardened.

mix 2

The mix was very dry. It was like wet gravel, and we could not pour it into the form but had to press it in. When hardened it was very fragile and broke when removing it from the form.

mix 3-5

The mix was wet, slow flowing, in consistency. Became hard but with a rough texture when hardened.

Due to the low percentage of pigment and low mass of concrete it was really difficult to meassure the correct amount of pigments. The low percental amount of pigment also made the change of colour almost unseeable. (From the 3 group members one could spot a difference of colour between the samples, 1 could not spot a difference and the third was unsure.) Could also not notice any difference between the three mixes in terms of consistency or texture.

 

Concrete embryos in wax

Group 1, Assignment 3.

Inspired by the random organic shapes created by metal-in-water casting, we wanted to see if something similar could be achieved with concrete. We carried out three tests where we would pour concrete into liquid wax, a medium with higher viscosity than water which we thought would suit the slow-stiffening nature of concrete. Would the wax allow the conrete to slowly unfold and settle, capturing its fluid form?

Concrete: The basic mix from the assignment was used, adding 2g of red pigment.

Wax: Joel Svenssons Paraffin

Test 1: Hot concrete on medium-hot wax

As it was heated, the concrete turned liquid. We then poured it over medium-hot wax, stiff enough to first support the concrete. As the concrete slowly made the wax melt even more,  concrete shapes and canals started to form. It seems like this happened mostly to the side of the jar where the wax was warmest. The final form is yet to be discovered as it couldn’t be seen through the white wax.

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Test 2: Room-temperatured concrete on hot liquid wax

Concrete of normal viscosity was poured into clear liquid wax. As it entered the wax, small sausage-like shapes formed instantly and were stacked into a sculptural pile. A thin skin of white stiffening wax started to form around the concrete, making it resemble fetuses of space creatures (top picture). As the surrounding wax stiffened, we interpreted it as it would help the concrete shape to remain as it was while stiffening.

Test 3: Room-temperatured concrete on hot liquid wax (shaken)

Instead of simply letting it pile up and dry, we wanted to try to move the concrete around while stiffening, perhaps taking new shapes. However, as we shook the jar, the newly formed pile wouldn’t move at all, appearing to have stiffened instantly. Leaving the jar upside-down, we will see if time makes the concrete move a bit further.

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The fully-revealed shapes will be presented later.

Slip forming

This is a technique for casting high towers without using scaffolding. As the concrete dries, the same form slides upwards and is used again, adding layer by layer. Maybe a similar concept can be used in a smaller scale somehow?

Image source: https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glidformsgjutning
Material: Concrete
Process: Slip forming

Injection moulding

This is how most of the world’s plastic products are made, from car body panels to bottle lids. It is also used for glass and metals. The material is heated and forced into a cavity mould made of metal, where it cools and hardens. The moulds can be reused thousands of times which makes it ideal for mass production. The picture is showing one side of a comb mould.

Image source: https://sc02.alicdn.com/kf/HTB14sGpJXXXXXX0XFXXq6xXFXXXh/China-Factory-Plastic-Comb-Making-Injection-Mold.jpg
Material: plastic
Process: injection moulding