Last couple of weeks have been interesting. I kept on doing some samples to try out different thickness of acrylic yarn to weave with the PET yarn, they all work pretty good but I like thinner ones the best. With some help from Emilie in Lima we found a company where we can get the yarn from and now Charlot is working on making that work.
I put a quite a lot of effort into finding clip on feet for the stool but it seemed impossible to find the right kind of feet in the right color and size. After discussing this with Gaspard, he came up with the idea of 3d printing them from recycled filament. What a well fitting solution for this problem. He has already made them at this point and it’s working perfectly.
The plan with the weaving was to weave it with a comb, we lasercutted them ourselves and I tried it out but it didn’t work great. So me and Charlot went for a visit to Leslie Eisinger who will be making the prototypes of the belts. She has a lot of knowledge in weaving and textiles. It was fantastic to meet with her and I got a lot of new information and answers to questions that I’d been struggling with. I basically found out that the comb was never going to work but Leslie showed me a different method of doing band-weaving that would probably work. We decided to call it the weaving-guitar.
This meant that I also needed to add a spacer for the beginning and the end to keep everything in place. I made some try outs by lasercutting them out of acrylic sheets and it’s going to work fine.
From the pictures from Leslie I made a draft of the weaving-guitar in my little workshop, took me a while to figure out how it actually worked but it all came together. From there on I did some adjustments and then I decided to make a new one from stronger material because the PET yarn is so strong that the MDF was almost breaking after I found a way to tightening it of well enough. It worked great untill I came closer to the end and I couldn’t get it to work for the final part. I swear to god I tried all different kind of adjustments and just starred at this weird machine for hours untill I finally came up with a solution. Thats when the weaving-guitar got some extra handles and it actually worked!
I did some more adjustments to it and it has become more user friendly at this point. I really like how it looks actually but that was not really the point it the beginning. Form follows function. Now I am going to make a real size belt today and tomorrow and if it goes well then this can go to Leslie very soon so she can try it out and at the end make the prototypes for us.
Things are looking pretty positive at this point.
After finally deciding on the colors of the acrylic yarn that I want to use with the plastic yarn I went for a hunt to find the these colors in the right weight. I only found green that is both right color and thickness but I bought some similar colors in similar thickness to keep on working. I’ve also been in contact with our contact person in Peru to find the yarn over there as well for the production.
My main focus now has been figuring out the weavings, how to involve the acrylic yarn so it both looks right and can be done pretty fast. It’s been extremely frustrating to make these try out because it’s slow and I don’t like slow. I could only manage to do three of these try outs in one day and some of them didn’t even work well enough to be photographed. I was pretty sure that making it in stripe pattern would work the best but after some try outs it was really not working out for numbers of reasons. After taking a break from it for couple of days (I was pissed off and didn’t want to look at it) it finally started to make sense again. I found out that the best way would be to have it completely weaved in the plastic waste yarn, acrylic yarn or with very big stripes. Then I also tried to weave plastic yarn and acrylic yarn at the same time that gave me some new different results and it was a faster process. It also gave me more abstract pattern, underlining the craftsmanship instead of trying to make something perfect that was never going to be perfect.
The problem was though that I knew it would look completely different as three belts on a stool comparison to my small samples. But due to how long it takes me to make them I couldn’t really try it out. So my solution was to spray paint the frame and then just photoshopping the weaving samples and print them out on paper just to give me some idea of what would actually work together. It looks pretty crappy but it did give me a pretty clear idea of how it would work. At the end I think the the weavings with the plastic waste yarn and acrylic yarn weaved at the same time is going to give the best result. It looks like a new material and it works well together.
This has been such a big heavy step to figure out that I feel like I am on cloud nine right now. Pheww. Now I can finally keep on going.
Next week I should get the tools to make the first real belt and I will be looking into more final detailing. It feels like it’s all coming together.
Last week I started to play with the colours of the plastic. I want to make three different colored belts so I have three different kinds of stools to make a serie. I thought it would be nice to try to use all the colors that are most common for the plastic waste yarn, the transparent one, blue and green. The idea was to use normal yarn with the plastic yarn in the weaving and I decided to use acrylic yarn so the whole stool can easily be recycled again.
I used patterns and weavings from the area as gridlines for choosing the colors together. I ended up with the colors green, blue and pink as the final chose of acrylic with the plastic yarn and just like the base of weavings that you see on the picture above the base of the stool (the frame) will be white as well.
I made some try outs with the width of the belt and it turns out that three belt are going to turn out the best both for the look and it’s better for the weaving work. There was more curve then I thought there would be in the frame but it actually turned out great! Now the belts goes down the curve giving it a bit of a different look and gives it more body. I also did some try out with the connection part, we are going to see if we can make this part ourselfs also from recycled material but we will see next week if it works out. Otherwise it will be out of metal.
A lot of things got solved this week and I am happy with the progress.
I am very happy to announce that the crowd-funding in December was successful and we are able to continue with the project! I had some time off from the stool over the holidays but it never left my mind and a lot of things where solved during this “time off”.
Prototypes of the frame where made at the end of December and we are pretty close to the final one.
Now I am starting to work on the project again, it’s mostly about figuring out the weaving parts, connections, colors etc. I will give an update every week from now on so you can see the stools final development.
This week I made some models in real life scale from plastic tubes, they are a bit thicker then the metal would be but gives a good enough impression. I always find it very helpful to do this to get a real feeling for the proportions, shape and size of the furniture. It can also tell a lot about how difficult it is to make with the real material. I think I have a pretty good idea about the metal frame at this point and next I would like to see it in metal!
I made a almost real try out with the weaved plastic strips, the weaving technic that I am using is very simple and simple tool are used that can easily be made with laser-cutter to produce tools for the weaving women in Manchay. The plastic waste yarn that I had was thicker then I used before and did not work as well but good enough for this try out. Took me with my pour weaving skills couple of hours to produce one strip but I am pretty sure that the weavers are much faster and better at this then I am. I only used the plastic waste yarn this time but the idea is to mix the wool yarn that they usually use with the plastic waste yarn, you can see those experiments earlier on this blog.
I also started making some sketches of possible connection parts for the weaving strip that I would like to be produced from recycles plastic as well but we have to see if that works out. At least it has to be neat and work as a natural part of the weaving strip.
I think the design of the stool is coming a long great and I am looking forward to keep on going and seeing this project becoming reality!
I had a lot of fun last week making little models, I really love making things with my hand and I try to work in that way as much as possible.
After previous experiments and try-outs I figured out that the product that I was going to make was a stool. This week I focused on coming up with simple metal frame where the weaving strips could be stretched over in a very simple way. I was inspired by the pictured from Manchay that our ambassadors over there Anne-Fleur, Natalie and Romy took for me. I could see that there is a lot of dust and neutral colors but they seem to like bright colors so you can see colors popping up here and there. I really liked that. I also sow from the pictures that all things like furniture are made to be efficient and functional. Because of this I felt that the design should also be efficient and functional. I did some scale models to try out the shapes and trying out different thicknesses of the weaving strips. I ended up with two stools that I think will be the best choose to go from here (the ones I am holding) and I am planing to continue working on them further this week. I am also going to keep on going with weaving experiment this week. What I hope for right now is that this will be at the end one stool frame and then three different kinds of colored weaving making this a nice series. I’ll keep you posted.
I am Marta Sif, I am a product designer and I am currently designing a furniture from the plastic waste yarn. I graduated form Design Academy Eindhoven earlier this year with a project called “Fish on dry land”. In this project I focused on working with migration in villages in Iceland where I am from. I made four pieces of furniture that are inspired by this village main occupation fishing and designed them so they could be produced locally. I wanted to show them and everybody else that it’s very much possible to produce in the villages and it doesn’t alls have to happen in the big cities. During my graduation show on Dutch Design Week I met Gaspard from WOOF & WOW and he told me about this project with the plastic waste yarn that they had been working on. This seemed like the perfect match, that I would join them and design a product with the team of WOOF & WOW.
I am very glad to be a part of this project and I am curious to see where it will lead me. It’s an important project for me because I like being a part of something bigger then just my objects. I believe design should reach out to social problems in the world where the creative thinking come in good use. I would say that I am somewhere in-between being a designer and a craftsman so I find this project very fascinating. Now my goal is to use the story and the knowledge of the area combined with the recycle material to create a designed furniture. By doing this we are recycling waste, giving the people there jobs and creating something new. It’s just as beautiful as it sounds.
In the beginning I research a lot through photos, making collages for different things like colour, weaving methods, possible products, detailing etc. from there on I started to make experiments with the material, all kinds of little try out and research. I started to get more feeling for the material and what it has to offer. The material is very strong and it has an interesting feeling and texture. I wanted to use the story and the background of the material in the design and I think that one of the biggest iconic Peru things are weaven woollen textiles. I tried combining the wool with the plastic and I felt that that worked very well together creating a different material on it’s own. I found a weaving method that I think works the best, it’s one of the most simplest ways to weave but that is also a good thing. The simpler the better. I wanted to create a way for the women to weave this material in a simple efficient way that could also be the simplest way for me to use in a furniture. At this point I see it as weaving strips that they will make from the plastic combined with the traditional wool and then there will be a metal frame where I can apply the strips too to make a chair or a stool. This week I will be working on shaping the stool and trying out the connection method that I came up with, now with the real material.