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Spontaniously Hand Sculptued Plastic Furniture
by Handmade Industrials

Netherlands based design duo Rutger de Regt and Marlies van Putten share an interest in experimentation and process-based principles and have worked together since their studies at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague. Their practice is founded on the idea of devising handcraft fabrication methods for industrial materials, which lead them to develop their patented process for shaping plastics, which they call “Make & Mold”.

Enclosing plastic pellets in a latex membrane with vacuum pressure, Rutger and Marlies spontaneously hand-shape the resulting mass like clay, improvising techniques and restraints to create organic forms. Once satisfied with the basic shape, they heat it in a special oven to finalize and set the shape. As each object is handmade and unique, no two pieces are ever alike.

The artist’s natural initial focus for the "Make & Mold" process was the vessel form, which they have explored in three distinct series of increasing complexity; Sculpt in 2013 with amorphic forms, Pomme in 2016 with irregular, fruit-like ovoid forms, and Impose in 2017 with complex and segmented bodies.

Their vessels are made of a non-petrochemical, naturally sourced re-granulated plastic material of Caprolacton Lacton, a cyclic ester derived from caproic acid. This fatty acid is a colorless liquid that is miscible with most organic solvents and water. It is found naturally in various animal fats and oils, it is a component of vanilla and is one of the chemicals that give the decomposing ginkgo fruit its characteristic odor.

Colored with unblended natural mineral pigments, gradients and patterns occur spontaneously within the melting raw granular plastic, however, in conjunction with the ability to localize and control color application, an endless variety of effects is possible. Once cooled, the satin-smooth but mottled-looking outer surface reveals the raw plastic pellets from which the forms are derived and are still visible in the vessel’s interior.

The vessels are fully functional and suitable to hold water. Over time, the skin-like surface develops a natural, chalky appearance but may be polished with a soft, damp, cloth to burnish it. As with any plastic, they should be kept in an environment with temperatures below 40˚C/104˚F and avoid direct heat sources and intense sun.

 

Impose Vessels

 

Furniture

An object is the product of its materials and fabrication method; they are a reflection and cypher of the culture that produced them.

Our interest lies in discovering and revealing the significance of the materials and processes we devise and work with.

Respecting the integrity of the relationship between material, process and product results in objects that are both organic and manufactured. With this in mind, we have created Make&Mold, a flexible plastics fabrication process that enables us to produce unique objects through direct manipulation.

Process: Spontaneously hand-formed heated plastic, manipulated in a silicone bubble.

Materials: Expanded polystyrene pellets, polyurethane coating, tinted Japanese silver leaf, resin coating.