Archive for August 7th, 2015

T1-MMT-P3 Molding and casting – Initial Research

This Part of the course is about creating new surfaces, molding a material by using surfaces with texture, and casting into a flexible material, with further processes to develop the results of both.

This is a huge field with many possible materials available and I suspect new and improved products coming onto the market frequently. It will take some time and research to identify and source some good candidates. First I want to consider what I already have, including some materials already used earlier in the course.

Polymorph plastic pellets

Sidetrack p1-5 Materials

Sidetrack p1-5 Materials

An extensive side-track using this material was recorded 21-April-2015. Under different names these pellets are included in the course notes’ list of possibilities. It’s quite odd, to go off on what appears to be an adventurous tangent and then discover it’s core course content.

Sidetrack p1-6 Embossed

Sidetrack p1-6 Embossed

Among other experiments on my tangent I embossed the polymorph then used it as a stamp. I’ll now redefine that as molding. Clearly this needs to be one of my selections for the current Part.
PVC board – James Jet workshop
experimental collagraph 01

experimental collagraph 01

In the Experimental Collagraphs workshop with Jet James (16-July-2015) we created texture on pvc board using the pressure of the printer roller.

Photo: Claire Brach

Photo: Claire Brach

This technique uses solid texture sources on a solid material so doesn’t fit with the more liquid molding and casting materials in this Part. Overall the method would be better explored within Part 4 which looks at mono and collatype printing. However I think there is potential for creating a mold that is used for casting. If I want to make a plaster block with say texture from heat-treated organza, one way would be to imprint the texture on pvc board and use that to build a mold.

Papier mâché

Paper cast of 3D sketch

Paper cast of 3D sketch

During Part 1 I attempted to rescue a sketch on rice paper, using it to make a papier mâché cast of some 3D pen work (16-May-2015). At that time I had quite a long list of possible directions to take similar work. Looking at it now I would add stitch and some of the joining ideas from Part 2 to the list.

This seems an ideal opportunity to explore further.

Casting in kinetic sand

Sidetrack p1-3 Result

Sidetrack p1-3 Result

While experimenting with the 3D pen I was introduced to the wonders of kinetic sand. On the left you can see I used the sand as a mold in which I “cast” the semi-liquid strand of plastic produced by the pen (16-April-2015). (You may also note the alternative spelling “mould”. I’ve now switched to the form used in the course notes).

Sample p1-59b After - on mould

Sample p1-59b After – on mould

Sample p1-59 (20-April-2015) used the sand as a form or mold when using a heat gun on fragments of plastic. Can this be regarded as “casting”? In my first reading of the requirements the focus appears to be on capturing texture. I think there is potential here, but no certainty. (Risk!!!)

Shrink wrap mug

Sample p2-70 view 2

Sample p2-70 view 2

Given the rule bending considered in the previous point, there can be no doubt that I will be attempting to take sample p2-70 further (22-July-2015). Can this be regarded as molding or casting? It must be close. Plastic semi-melted by heating takes form over a mold. That sounds like casting, with a little topographical switch between internal and external. If I can play on that and maybe even capture some texture it should be near enough.

It’s definitely something I want to take further.

Cast paper
A few years ago I spent a day at Primrose Paper Arts (29-May-2011). As well plain sheets of paper we experimented with pressing objects into the damp sheets – not only as inclusions in the final paper, but for form and texture. I don’t have a photograph of my efforts shaping the paper around … I think it was wire racks. Fortunately just a few days ago I went to an exhibition by Primrose Paper Arts – I’ll show more in another post. Currently I don’t feel a strong pull towards this particular material / technique mix.

Having taken stock of existing materials and interests, I’ll move on to wider research.

T1-MMT-P3 Molding and casting – Initial Research
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 3: Molding and casting
Initial Research


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August 2015

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