For my final project I thought it would be interesting to use what I had learned with the fabric casting and translate that into something with yarn and crochet. I decided that I would use the crochet as both the exterior formwork for a column and as the column itself. Instead of just doing one test with a single material, I decided to use a variety of crocheting mediums as well as a few non traditional materials.
The materials: Thick fluffy yarn, really thin yarn, paracord, plastic “gardening string”, plastic coated wire. Each material was crocheted using a hook that worked best with the thickness of the material, which affected the size of the openings in the finished “fabric”
Before committing to the process of crocheting a whole bunch of tubes, I made a couple of small test pieces in a few of the materials, and tested them to see if they would actually absorb the concrete slurry like I though they would. Using the same mixture as we did for the fifth assignment, I tried my best to thoroughly soak the crochet with the slurry and then left it to dry overnight.
The end result of the test made it clear that if I wanted the fabric to maintain the open weave look after it had been impregnated with concrete then I would need to use either a bigger hook or a larger stitch or both. So I ended up using a triple stitch instead of a double stitch, which makes the holes larger.
For the filled columns, each material was crocheted into two tubes of the same width and height, using the same triple stitch. One of the crocheted tubes was lined with a thin stretchy material that was filled with the same mixture as we used for the fourth assignment, then hung from the bottom of one of the tables in the workroom. Each of the five columns was filled with approximately the same amount of concrete.
The hollow columns were attached to a cardboard ring, dunked into a bucket of the slurry mix from the fifth assignment, and then hung to dry so that they would maintain the tube shape.
Three days later, I collected the pieces and removed the cardboard formwork and zip ties before photographing the final results.
The results: While the some of the filled columns didn’t turn quite as upright as a expected, overall I think this was a good experiment. All four of the tubes are capable of supporting their own weight and are not a brittle as I was expecting. I think this was because I did not use any aggregate and made sure to thoroughly coat as much of the tube as I could with the mixture before hanging it to dry. The solid columns, turned out about as I expected; the three with the more rigid form-works of plastic coated wire, plastic garden string, and paracord were the most well contained columns, while the two I made with yarn were more like blobs than columns. However, had I increased the amount of concrete that I put in the more stretchy formwork, I probably could have achieved a similar column size as those in the more rigid form-works.