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.
We firstly defined a 2cm*2cm grid, then tried to sew each chosen point and made this cover. Unfortunately the stirrer didn’t work, so we added 175 gram extra water to make it flowable. We poured concrete into fabric which we made some smocking to give it an amazing surface.
We poured concrete onto the cut plastic cups. After two days, we found it too soft due to the too much water, so the main question in this casting is the amount of the water.