Beˈtõ

About: I'm a textile design student concentrating on materials and techniques - also beyond a textile context! My way of working is very experimental.

Intro: Beˈtõ

This is an excerpt of a project containing more than the objects shown.
Here I will concentrate on material combinations including concrete.

In an experimental way of working materials and techniques that appear to be foreign to one another are combined so that they seem to work against each other but also develop a new surface feel and unusual aesthetics. By using primarily concrete and metal fabrics a certain heaviness, strength and monumentality are symbolized. However the objects illustrate fragility, lightness and transparency by their structure at the same time. Those unities of contradictions are found all throughout the work.

The combination of concrete and metal is not new; reinforced concrete is a widely-used construction material. Working in a different manner during this project, the materials exchange their well-known features with new qualities. Two massive materials form a fragile, light and transparent structure. By using unconventional methods, new associations are created and unusual combinations are formed.

Some examples are the treatment of metal tissues with concrete elements and paper fibers, lasercutting felt and the addition of fluid concrete afterwards and the use of beeswax on concrete-metal-combinations.

photos: Matthias Ritzmann

Step 1: First Experimental Material Tests

Metal tissues have been treated with concrete serving as a base. Afterwards further materials have been added to those objects so that they gained additional characteristics and changed their visual appearance and their surface feel. Through the addition of beeswax, fibers of hemp and pine, rice paper and a polyurethane elastomer the “fabrics” become more flexible, softer, fixed and more stable.

Step 2: Working Concentrated on Several Material Combinations

materials:

concrete
water
metal textiles

additional materials such as:

paper fibers
beeswax
polyurethane

tools:

perforated plate
plastic wrap
putty knife
weights

1. Spread out plastic wrap on a small area on a table. Place a metal textile on the plastic wrap and the perforated plate on top of it. Use some weights to hold down the mesh and the plate.

2. Mix the concrete; you can find help how to do so here: https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-CONCRETE-How-To-Mix-Concrete/

3. Use the putty knife to spread the fluid concrete on the perforated plate and push it through the cut-outs. Wait a moment before you remove the plate. After you removed it, carefully place plastic wrap on top of the moist concrete. Let it dry for about one day. For some objects I ended the process after this step.

4. I combined the concrete-metal-combination with paper fibers of hemp and pine. Therefore I made some thin layers of paper in which I embedded the concrete metal and let it dry.

5. Other variations with beeswax, rice paper or a polyurethane elastomer are possible. There is no right or wrong way how to do so; it is a process of trial and error.

Step 3: Results

During the project, material experiments became increasingly important. On the one hand it resulted in textile objects with a sculptural appearance. On the other hand concrete and metal are essential materials within the building industry. Therefore, there is also an architectonic aspect recognizable in the project. It is an attempt to generate concrete-metal-combinations which communicate a certain lightness and transparency. Indeed, the work is in the phase of the experiment, nevertheless the approaches shall show the possibilities of further developments.

photos: Matthias Ritzmann

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