WORKSHOP: MATERIAL EXPERIMENT

I now have a toaster oven to use to melt down the plastic, Once again, I have shredded down the plastic to better fit within the mould and applied some release agent and weight to assist holding it down whilst heating. 

I am still experimenting with applying the right amount of heat and for some reason, contrary to my exemplars approximately 120 degrees Celsius recommendation (Wael Seaiby and Carter Zufelt) I chose a higher heat here. Perhaps taking into account that the toaster oven isn't as reliable as full size oven and accounting also accounting for the thick walls of the glass mould. 

After 30 minutes in the oven more plastic must be added as the plastic shrinks down.  Even with the addition of mould release the plastic is still sticking the the glass (see Fig. 4).  

After the addition of more plastic I leave the mould in the oven for another hour. Once additional plastic is melted I decide to push the mould with the pressure of a gloved hand due to not having ample weight on the plastic whilst melting. The Plastic is still sticking to the glass so I decide remove the plastic before becomes to hard to remove (see fig. 5).

This experiment, although a failed attempt, shows me the elements that are working here. I can see that the plastic is fusing and melting, it just needs more pressure whilst in a melted state. Due to the plastic sticking to the glass I must take it out whilst still malleable, which means the plastic doesn't set flat and uniform, I will need to fashion a new mould. The oven is a more successful heat source I just need to work at getting consistent heat, time and plastic amount ratios. 

Fig 1.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Piling plastic into mould ready for melting. Photograph [author’s own}

Fig 1. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Piling plastic into mould ready for melting. Photograph [author’s own}

Fig 2.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. applying release agent to glass mould. Photograph [author’s own}

Fig 2. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. applying release agent to glass mould. Photograph [author’s own}

Fig 3.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Ready to place mould into oven. Photograph [author’s own}

Fig 3. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Ready to place mould into oven. Photograph [author’s own}

Fig 4.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. example of what the plastic melts down to . Photograph [author’s own}

Fig 4. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. example of what the plastic melts down to . Photograph [author’s own}

Fig 5. Dennis, Natasha. “Sorting + Shredding Plastic” Vimeo. n.d. Accessed October 23, 2017. https://vimeo.com/235132404

Fig 6.  Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Failed melt. Photograph [author’s own}

Fig 6. Dennis, Natasha. 2017. Failed melt. Photograph [author’s own}