T1-MMT-P3 Molding and casting – Sorting

A number of the samples in this Part have interesting and / or attractive elements, and even more have future potential. However I think the greatest potential is in the materials themselves, and in combinations of the materials. Intrigued by their properties, I narrowed my field of enquiry to Polymorph and ComposiMold for molding, and to plaster and epoxy resin for casting. In the Sorting phase I have considered individual samples, but I have also re-photographed a number in small groupings of mixed materials.

Polymorph and composimold molding samples

Polymorph and composimold molding samples – backlit

Polymorph and composimold molding samples view 2

Polymorph and ComposiMold molding samples view 2

Both the polymorph (a thermoplastic) and ComposiMold (a reusable, pliable molding material) took fine, detailed impressions from a variety of sources – fruit, computer components and textiles. Displayed together their different colours and properties complement each other. One of the samples was embellished with a plastic line using the 3D pen, a useful way of bringing extra colour and texture into the presentation, although it should be noted that I have also been successful in experiments colouring both base materials.

See posts 23-August-2015, 26-August-2015 and 1-September-2015 for details on the samples above.

Sample p3-31

Sample p3-31

Sample p3-33 detail

Sample p3-33 detail

Sample p3-32

Sample p3-32

A series of samples which built on earlier exercises in scratching (assignment 1) and joining (assignment 2) identified more potential in the materials. Careful use of heat allowed interesting mark-making which I then further embellished with stitch. The materials were easy to work with and responded well to these manipulations. I would like to take all these ideas further.

Samples p3-33 and p3-34

Samples p3-33 and p3-34

My first foray into casting led to a fortuitous disaster (14-September-2015). The plastic bags whose interiors I was exploring broke, spilling much of the resin. The complex shapes of the remains in the bag look like fantastical creatures. I also enjoy the idea of capturing a brief moment in time. Thin dribbles extending down from the tears were surprisingly strong, an observation whose potential I started exploring in later samples.

Samples p3-46 and p3-48

Samples p3-46 and p3-48

Samples p3-46 and p3-48 view 2

Samples p3-46 and p3-48 view 2

An exciting result was sample p3-46, which also picked up on a happenstance “foot” of resin which formed on a stirring stick (23-September-2015). Synthetic organza, previously heat-treated in assignment 1, was embedded in a thin coating of resin.

I find this a very exciting sample. The texture of the treated fabric has been captured without the flattening effect that is sometimes seen in a thicker casting. The nature of the fabric is the main player in the piece. With the round foot it’s a little formal, with a similarity to an award or trophy, but there’s no real restriction on the shape or size of the base, or even any necessity to have a base at all. I’d like to make an armour of overlapping plates, playing with light and colour.

In the photographs above I have paired it with a plaster sample. There is an affinity of line, creating an intriguing space between the samples. Both were formed using fabrics and there is a link in the captured imprint of the plain weave. The plaster appears soft, absorbing light – there is a very fine haze of fibres on the surface. In contrast the resin is bright, hard, colourful. A pleasing combination.

Samples p3-51, p3-39 and p3-23

Samples p3-51, p3-39 and p3-23

Direct combinations of resin and plaster are seen in samples p3-51 (26-September-2015) and p3-39 (23-September-2015). The interior space filled in p3-51 was the most complex of castings done and I find it a particularly interesting form. Further interest and complexity is provided by the shards of resin that were embedded in the cast, providing notes of drama, bringing sparkling light. Sample p3-39 is quieter, chips of plaster embedded in a simple resin form, but the strength and gloss gained by protruding chips suggest potential for treatment of other plaster casts. Time restrictions did not allow exploration of this, but it would be interesting to drizzle resin in a partial coating of a plaster cast.

Also included in the photograph above is sample p3-23, made of ComposiMold brushed onto large scale bubble wrap. The light, texture and colour of this sample add extra dimensions to the grouping and the placement breaks down the severe lines of the base used to display the casts. Another mold created using the same brushing method was less successful. Sample p3-25 (6-September-2015) was an attempt to follow up the success in assignment 2 of wrapping a mug in plastic (sample p2-70, 22-July-2015). There are a number of variables to manage in this technique, including heat, layering and thickness of the material. There is definitely potential here.

Samples p3-41 and p3-47

Samples p3-41 and p3-47

Samples p3-41 and p3-47 view 2

Samples p3-41 and p3-47 view 2

The grouping of samples p3-41 and p3-47 arose from a similarity in the shape of the hump of resin and the curves of cable knit in the plaster. The strong lines in the plaster are more quietly echoed in the lines of the resin, created by the hammock of fruit mesh bag which formed the cast.

The dramatic lighting of the larger photograph emphasizes the different materials and their lines. It also shows the cloudy centre of the resin. An on-line shopping mixup meant I used resin intended for laminating rather than casting. This was of great benefit in sample p3-46, where the fast cure (25 minutes pot life, 4 hour tack free time) was much more suitable than the slow cure resin intended for casting (for thick casts 360 minutes pot life, 72 hour tack free time). For thicker pieces such as the sample shown here the fast cure led to improper curing and cloudiness. At some point I will probably want supplies of both types of resin.

Samples p3-24 p3-35 and p3-33 bucket remains

Samples p3-24 p3-35 and p3-33 bucket remains

None of the samples in the photograph above would have been selected as a standalone during Sorting. The blue is dregs of resin caught in a bucket when my plastic vessel failed (14-September-2015). The indigo suggests possibilities for playing with colour in resin, not otherwise explored in this round of samples. The upright sail-like ComposiMold started as an intended glaze, which failed when it didn’t adhere to the chosen surface (6-September-2015). The delicate textures show well when one can look through the sample. New information in this combination is my success in drilling holes in both resin and plaster. Here the hole was large enough to allow a linking of resin and Composimold, and any number of other joining methods come into play once holes are available. Finally p3-35 (14-September-2015) – not a failure, but overshadowed by other samples in plaster – works well in the trio to build up a little story.

Sample p3-53 alternate view

Sample p3-53 alternate view

Sample p3-53 (1-October-2015) was a fascinating process which I would like to have presented as a video or stop-motion. There is a reference to Giulio Paolini and also to the broken mug contained in sample p2-71 in assignment 2 (22-July-2015). I repeat my comments from then: “… there are ideas of loss and change, with an extra edge of violence or trauma.” Given how many impacts the new sample was able to absorb, resilience rather than loss could be the theme. It would be interesting to hide and reveal a series of items in plaster.

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

1 Response to “T1-MMT-P3 Molding and casting – Sorting”



  1. 1 T1-MMT-P4-p2-e1 Collage blocks | Fibres of Being Trackback on December 13, 2015 at 9:12 pm

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Fabulous figure sculpting workshop with Kassandra Bossell!

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