Materiality Revisited

During reading week i revisited the workshop on materiality as it is so much a part of what I intend to do for my final year project. I am investigating the materiality of old age and I hope to design new possibilities and investigate the effects of which.

I felt I understood my first experiment, but it wasn’t standardised. It wasn’t uniform enough to be an experiment, no coherence between the objects I was experimenting on.

I revisited as I think that my project was always going to materialise itself from slabs of veneered plywood.

This stems from my summer interning at unto this last, its where i learnt the versatility of plywood and got to know that it is a great material. I now work at unto this last and I feel I am getting to know the material, understanding its qualities.

So I know its suitable, its proven, what I wanted to explain with my incredibly basic experiment is how workable plywood is. I wanted to start with the possibilities of the material. Plywoods function changes by method of subtraction (machining) or by addition (veneers etc)

I wanted to show how a sheet of plywood has an infinite amount of possibilities, so I machined a dozen plywood tablets and set to work using anything that fell to hand in my kitchen/home. This is where this experiment comes from. I veneered the tablets with oddities such as, used coffee grounds, muscavado sugar, toothpaste, candle wax, bubble wrap, anti-slip and chocolate to explain its possibilities/suitability. If you can change the use of plywood by simply coating its surface, then you can also change the mood, its effects on the environment and how people perceive it. It is why plywood has and still enjoys such popularity amongst makers. It can be turned into something incredibly luxurious and in some cases the exposed edge of plywood conjures a similar appreciation to that of a  knurled piece of wood, a knot in a beautiful piece of oak etc, and yet at its beginnings it is absolutely man made and mass produced.

from my time spent laminating plywood at work, I understand how easy it is to damage a traditional veneer such as oak/walnut.. they are so easily chipped and then you must begin again. So I looked to make veneers that one could replenish by adding more, sort of self-healing or very tough to begin with. Although rudimentary and perhaps pointless to the outsider, I found this experiment to be valuable, even if only in its confirmation of suitability. I proved its worth in terms of my final project, it was simply a means to reach a decision. I realise I have a lot of decision left to make, so i figure the sooner I start making them the better off I will be.

The anti-slip tape veneer, in my opinion, works incredibly well, especially in terms of the objects I am looking at. For example, in terms of the wheelchair, It would work very well as a foot plate. it is just more vibrant and interesting whilst still being texturally relevant.

Thats it – img_0211img_0214img_0217img_0213img_0209img_0212img_0228img_0229img_0230img_0232img_0233img_0234img_0236img_0238



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