CREATIVE PROCESS

Creative Techniques

MANUFACTURING TECHNIQUES

The mold

A mold is needed to create my concrete pieces. I made the choice not to do a series. As a result, every piece is unique. There is no silicone mould, no reproduction. This creates a lot of work, but the satisfaction of creating unique sculptures, each with thier own identity, pleases me.

My molds are generally round in shape. It is through the circle that I express myself best. It’s my signature. There is no confinement, the energy of the sculpture circulates. Either I recover the molds, or I make them in resin. Round and concave formats. For the textured sections I make another mold inside the resin mold.

The preparation

The recipe: cement, extra fine sand, water and fiberglass or polypropylene. I knead and get a smooth paste. It is not liquid concrete but a textured material. I take it in my hand and press it into the mold. I like touching it and having direct contact with the material, despite the use of gloves.

This enables me to feel the texture is flexible enough, neither too dry nor too wet. The demoulding is done 24h or 48h later depending on the temperature of the workshop.

Colours

The concrete starts as white cement with very fine sand.
Depending on the results I want to obtain, either I leave it white or colour it, adding colour to the materials or just like painting on a canvas, I paint it with brushes after it has dried.

The oxides used: iron, manganese and copper, are specific to concrete and work by eating away at the surface to reveal their underlying tones after drying.

Origin of the material

CONCRETE AND URBANISME

Although concrete has a long history in its broad conception, the more recent discovery of cement was the trigger for its mainstream industrial use.

Long perceived as a basic material, inferior to stone, cement concrete became a flagship material in the 20th and 21st centuries.

The discovery of high-performance concrete and then Ultra-High Performance Fiber Concrete between the 1980s and 2000 further stimulated its use for constructions with improved durability and physical properties.

Today, many raise concerns about the cement and concrete industry:

  • There is a significant environmental impact
  • There is a significant environmental impact , and
  • CO2 emissions related to manufacturing

The concrete and cement industries have had to adapt their production model by optimizing their carbon impact. The recycling of concrete and building-related waste has become a major challenge for the industry. However, the recycling and reuse sectors cannot develop without real coordination work between political and industrial players.

Ecological concrete exists.

It involves the use of industrial residues containing an active form of silica and alumina: ashes from aluminum factories or coal-fired power stations, metakaolin or blast furnace slag.

The adoption of these ecological alternatives would be further hampered by the cement lobby and its standards limiting the share of slag in concrete intended for construction.

There are also alternatives to build differently, such as bio-sourced plant fiber materials, wood but also hemp concrete, clay concrete, earth concrete, …

The obstacles to the development of alternatives differ according to the state of research, which are partly technical, but also cultural and structural.

“Building sustainably also means knowing not to build. The main challenge is to stop destroying, to instead massively rehabilitate the world already there” 

Philippe Madec, architect.

Trends

CONCRETE USE IN ART, DESIGN AND LUXURY

While it is most often considered a simple construction material, concrete is attracting more designers every day.

Raw and mineral, it brings strength and finesse to their creations, whether in the field of fashion, jewellery, interior decoration or art.

Thanks to additives, fibres and pigments, designers have complete freedom of texture, shape and color, to better question our everyday objects, reinterpret and sublimate them.

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