"Torque" is the result of a series of experiments in textile sculpting. The hourglass side table is crafted out of spandex hardened with resin, and finished with a white oak table top.
PROCESS + TECHNIQUE
I was briefed to create an object of beauty for the home using a technique or process I hadn't experienced before. The search began to familiarize myself with unique objects and their respective processes.
Several of these processes peaked my interest. How could I experiment with these processes at a primal level to create an object of beauty? I was particularly set on the technique of glass slumping, and even signed up for an Intro to Glassmaking class in hopes that I would have the resources to learn and reproduce the technique. I quickly learned that it was out of my budget and required a larger kiln, and was not quite an "Intro" technique. I did have a surplus of scrap spandex left over from an old project, so I attempted to recreate the feel and effect of glass slumping with fabric and resin.
Explore more dynamic forms by creating complex molds and rigs with solder and steel rod. Transitioning from draping/slumping to twisting, stretching, and pleating. Experiments begin to yield structural results.
Intrigued to find that I could create some degree of strength and structure by twisting or pleating the wetted spandex, I moved into furniture. A simple jig consisting of two MDF surfaces (table top and bottom), and a wooden dowel at the center allowed me to turn and twist the upholstered fabric to any degree, resulting in an hour glass shaped side table. I experimented with several types of resin and spandex before finding a good combination.
WINS + FAILS
Freezing this tension in time to transform fabric into something weight bearing and structural, however idealized the notion, was not entirely successful. The combination of stretched out spandex and thinly applied craft resin yielded similar results in every prototype. Resin cures in dense quantities, so its strength is lost immediately when spread out and soaked into the fibers of spandex. The central dowel is left intact in the final prototype to maintain the table's structure.
The notion of experimentation and playing with materials to arrive at a design was, on the other hand, a fresh and valuable experience. I was constantly working three dimensionally, going from start to finish without having to create a single hand drawn sketch. In my efforts to capture the elasticity of spandex in different ways, its inherent properties naturally defined the form and texture of the final product.