micro foundry

This project was the outcome of a week long workshop with designer Max Lamb organised by the Vitra Museum at the domaine du Boisbuchet in France. The aim of the workshop was to learn metal foundry techniques like sand casting, lost wax, using plaster moulds, and pretty much whatever other experiments we felt like doing.Because pewter has a very low melting point, we were able to safely and quickly experiment with the material, discovering its possibilities, and obtaining finished results within minutes. This documentation illustrates, the process which lead to an installation and a piece of jewellery.

portada microfoundry

The acorns proved to be a great object to sand cast as it is completely symmetrical and very smooth, it was enough only to push them in the sand in a controlled manner to get a perfect mould out of them. After calculating the right amount of pewter to fill the crevasse it became a very repetitive almost industrial gesture where every 5 minutes  and only using an old tin can and some green foundry sand I would produce about 20 metal replicas of the acorn I was using. I repeated it over and over again and ended doing about 200  of them.

removing top

removed top
 ready to be casted
multiple casts
pouring 
heatproof glove 
casts out of sandAfter making a few pewter replicas of the acorns of a particular tree, I realised that they were a perfect surrogate of the originals and they would just slot into the cap that was still attached to the branch of the tree. I then went on to measure the diameter of the acorns on a specific branch of the tree and found out that there were essentially 3 sizes of acorns growing throughout the branch, I kept measuring and soon found out this applied to the whole tree. I moulded one acorn of each size in series and the installation itself was a long and meticulous process  where I would measure and insert the metallic surrogates on almost all the acorns at a reachable height from the ground.editada1

pulling out from the tree

inserting surrogate

close up of branch

branch

close up of surrogate

acorn necklace in use

acorn neclace
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