Creating Objects of Value and Meaning
In this project, I created 3 reproducible sets of objects. The goal was to create items that would have enough intrinsic value for me to:
- Keep One
- Give One
- Sell One
The object that I created had to sufficiently satisfy these needs of these scenarios. I explored how I could craft objects that would remain compelling and endure.
Looking at Materiality Before Meaning
I began this project by delving through some of my favorite past projects and looking at what parts were most compelling to me. In the past, I’ve enjoyed working with materials like clay and I wanted to explore possibilities that had similar qualities of weight, age, permanence, and temperature.
The Materiality of Concrete
I delved into concrete pouring and was immediately drawn to its material qualities and subjectiveness. I began pouring some basic shapes and structures and looking at how the concrete cured and took on forms. I experimented with mixing ink in, layering the concrete, and even breaking the concrete after it cured.
What if Non-Concrete Objects were Concrete?
I began contemplating this question as I continued pouring things in concrete. The question rose as I continued to experiment and consider what form my concrete object could take. I then made objects that normally weren’t made of concrete, such as this plastic and paper coffee cup and this banana. I decided to pursue this mismatch of expectations with the objects form and its materiality, such as its weight.
I enjoyed the unexpected experience of the concrete coffee cup. I decided to push this idea further by creating paper forms that one would expect to be light and delicate but would be cast in the heavy permanence of concrete. Origami became my focus.
The Process of Pouring Concrete Origami
Once I narrowed on the origami form I wanted, I began developing a method to pour this concrete to the proper fidelity, craft, and sharpness that it had in paper. I scored milk carton material to fold an empty mold. After gluing together two halves, I had a one time use mold. I tried several methods for pouring the concrete to fill the entire mold.
Placing the Concrete Origami
Something that the concrete origami struggled with was its place. Many people immediately picked it up and began questioning this “spin top” or “paper weight.” I decided to place the concrete on a slab of wood to help establish its purpose as a sculptural piece. After iterating on what this platform could look like, I used a long slim slab of dark walnut with round corners, pairing nicely with the contrasting sharpness of the origami.
The Placed Concrete Origami
Below is a drawing of the fabrication process behind the concrete origami and walnut platform. Following are photos of the final form and the complete set of 3 objects.