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7. Textile as Scaffold

This week I worked on composites, CNC milling, crystal growing and fabric framework.

I know the result is not the same as the inspiration - hahaha - but I think this was a really good prototype for a week project.

Composite and CNC milling

I wanted to create a hard surface with soft textiles and composite it with a hard component. I decided to make the up side of a chair. For this I needed:

The Mold: - A block of MDF with size 300mm long x 300mm width x 60mm high - The CNC machine to mill the block using two broaches. - 10mm width to rip and 2. - A 6mm width to the detail rip. - The 3D model of the negative made in Rhinoceros and an special plugin to simulate the milling and convert the parameters into a gcode. - The parameters where this in my case

It took for about 30min in the hard rip to mill the block and about 40min to rip the details. When it was ready I used sandpaper to have a smoother surface. Then applied varnish to cover de MDF porus and make it a little bit water resistant.

The Composite:

I used: - The mold - Wool yarn painted - Resin epoxi 100ml A - 2ml B (scale calculator, container to mix the components, container to weight each component, mixer stick, brush to apply the resin) - Plastic bag with needle holes - Plush fabric - Plastic bag plane without holes - Vacum machine

There was a surface of wool yarn painted. So the fibers were soft but hard enough to create a structure. I composite it with resin. Mixed 100 ml of component ¨A¨ with 2ml of component ¨B¨. I placed kitchen film paper on top of the mold to help unmold it after dryied. Then, applied a layer of resin with a brush and then a layer of painted yarn. I repeated the process for 5 layers more. Then on top of the resin I made a sandwich with a plastic bag with needle holes (so the vacum can absorb better and this help to get the shape), then plush fabric, then a plane plastic bag (to cover the vacum from resin).

(I was on my own doing this process. It must be done quick and carefully so I couldn't take pictures)

I put my mold on the vacum, turn the air on and help the composite get the mold shape with our hands. Let it dry till the next day.

Vacuum process to form a composite of wool yarn with resine using an MDF negative mold. from Ana Correa on Vimeo.

Once dried I took it out the vacum and cut the excess. The chair surface is ready!!

NOTE: The size is in scale 1:2

Fabric Framework

Now that we had the top of the chair I needed the legs. What if I use fabric framework with cement?

I used: - Lycra fabric - Laser machine - Filleting machine - Cement powder - Water - Bowl to make the mix

So I made a 2D pattern, cut a flexible fabric in the laser cut and sew it with the filleting machine. I left two legs opened to insert the cement. Then, mix the powder with water and pour it inside the fabric. Close it fast and place it in a way it gets the structure shape. Let it dry till the next day. Once dried, opened very carefully cutting the fabric. Place the resin composite at the top and the chair is ready!

NOTE 1: Is better to use an steel structure to support the cement. Otherwise the cement is going to breake easily.

Crystal growing

I am amazed and inspired by the "Macrame" wave. I searched till I found it here and learned how to knit it. So, I decided to use paper yarn to grow the crystals.

How to grow Crystals from Alum Powder from Ana Correa on Vimeo.

I used: - Paper yarn - Alum powder - Water - Filter

I knitted the Macramé and then prepared the alum solution. For this: - Use a clean cooking pot. Measure the amount of water you will need to cover the surface you want to grow the crystals. - Heat up the water till 90ºC aprox. Not boilling and add Alum powder slowly. The point is to get an over saturated solution. - Keep adding alum powder till you see at the bottom of the pot little stones of alum. This means is so saturated and the alum can be more disolved. Is ready. - Place your knitted piece in a clean pot with enough space in every side. Use a coffee filter or fabric to pour the solution. Do this to clean it and make sure the crystals aren´t growing around an already made crystal but in your textile. - After this, cover the pot and let the crystals grow like magic. Check every then and now to see the progress. You can leave it for 2 days as much as you want the crystals to grow. - Take them off the solution carefully and let it dry. - Enjoy your master piece. NOTE: The less saturated is the solution the bigger will grow the crystal. The more saturated the smaller.