Material Considerations


New denim Clock Tower, Tower, Basic house and Cottage.

I have now made 4 repurposed denim buildings. They each take a bit of time but I’m building up momentum with each iteration.
   I have to keep the denim supply up, which I source from north London branches of the homelessness charity Shelter and also now Crisis. 
The denim is quickly taking up quite a lot of space, so I make a temporary rack (using bamboo from my garden) for both storing it and being able to see what cuts and colours I have at a glance. I’ll have to figure out something more long term as I go along.
At the same time, I experiment with different types of filler. First I try filling the buildings with offcuts from the jeans, then with recycled cotton; before finally settling on this wonderful recycled wool from a Scottish social enterprise.
In the background I also investigate other materials and processes such as basket weaving and paper pulp moulding for a prototype building.
   For basket weaving my preferred materials are jute and grass, for their flexibility, accessibility and environmental credentials. However, many of the building shapes may yet present too many technical challenges for the process.
   The paper pulp moulding is an industrial scale process, with expensive tooling that prohibits small scale experimentation. I plan to try a table top version first by making my own mould and paper pulp cast. 

Examples of grass basket weaving and paper pulp moulding.