Liquid Metal

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Liquid Metal
CK-Liquid Metal 01.jpg
Design Year: 2017
Dimensions: 15 x 15 x 17 inches 28 pounds
Materials: Aluminum, urethane rubber
Manufacturer: Studio Produced

Liquid Metal was created for "Collection 3, Part 3: Domestic Appeal" curated by Matylda Krzykowski for Chamber Gallery, New York and exhibited from March 3 to April 22, 2017. Two stools and one light were made.

These pieces were created by pouring aluminum just above the melting point into a tank of water gel beads. It is poetic that an ephemeral material like water can be used to form a rigid material like aluminum.

Production

A rudimentary refractory furnace was made using plaster and vermiculite. The heat source was a propane jet made from a steel tube with a transverse section running through it. This transverse section has an outlet pointing towards the front of the tube where the pressurized propane shoots out and draws air from behind it into the tube and creates the jet action.

When the molten aluminum is poured into the water bead tank it flows into the negative space between the beads and at the same time heat is quickly pulled from the metal causing it to solidify as it descends.

Aluminum foam was used to make the legs of the stool by inserting the loose foam pieces into the gel bead tank. The beads hold the loose pieces in place as the molten aluminum flows into the cavities of the foam. As it cools the metal shrinks slightly, thus binding these loose pieces together.

Tests were made for encasing glow in the dark marbles into the aluminum but ultimately could not be achieved. This idea would result in Brittle Star the following year.

Residual heat in the refractory can be used to cook food.