Using moulding techniques to produce a table design and scale model.
Sketching & Cardboard
I made fewer sketches for my table designs. First, I had a clearer idea of what to explore; my classmates had been working on tabletops and I was interested in creating a mould process for both a base and a top. Secondly, I realised sketching wasn’t communicating my ideas clearly to the shop technicians, so I decided to make a cardboard model (images 3-9) to communicate my intentions of making a stand-alone mould (rather than a mould each leg).
Mould Making & Pouring
I created my mould pieces in AutoCAD and used the laser cutter to cut the pieces out of foam core boards (image 10). I assembled and taped these pieces together to create a watertight seal (images 11 & 13), before mixing coloured jesmonite and pouring into the constructed moulds (image 14).
The blue mould (image 16) was the simplest, with straighter legs than my initial drawing, primarily because I was concerned about possible leakage in the mould. For my second mould (image 17), I elongated the initial idea to create a futuristic feeling table that could be made to almost any scale. I was also curious to see how making thinner legs out of jesmonite would turn out.
I cut a circular top out of MDF, then used the vacuum former to create a plastic mould of the top (image 28 & 32). Before moving to a larger scale, I would like to make a mould for a single pour including the table base and top.
When assembling the mould, I also used a small amount of duct tape on the inside. The areas of the pour that touched the tape had a shiny finish and were much easier to remove from the mould (images 21-23). Had I lined the mould fully with duct tape it would have been much less labour intensive.
In both designs I needed to create a deeper central section to provide a stronger connection between the legs. In the first mould, the legs broke apart quite quickly while removing the mould. The mould was stuck to the jesmonite more firmly than I expected (images 21-13 & 27) and the pressure needed to pulling the pieces off was broke the central area apart. I used superglue to attach it back together (image 25).
The mould also left a small amount of foam core board on the jesmonite. Although not what I was expecting, the board created an opportunity for two patina effects. In the blue model, I removed as much of the board material as possible, then used a hand sander to finish the legs. On the red model, I used warm water and a scrubbing brush to remove excess board material. These two removal methods created very different effects (image 20 vs image 31).