cuprum / positive-negative
a process where the resulting objects are related through the material transformation.
category Processes / Machines & Their unique Results
Five design studios from Europe were invited to develop a project for the Kunstgewerbemuseum, based on pieces from their collection found in the archives.- we were one of these design studios.
After a tour through the museum’s storage, we had a certain fascination for some old velvet presentation-boards that were once used to show fabric samples. Used for many years (some of them nearly 100 years), these boards show the exact shadows of the fabric pieces or laces which in the past were presented on them.
Through time the velvet boards became nearly a copy of the original in an abstract way. This dependency and connection of two ements, the play between positive and negative, was translated into the project Cuprum. Two metal pieces – copper and a metal mesh – are immersed together in a copper sulphate solution.They need each other for the transformation of the material. Partly covered with foil to control the flow of material, a low electric current is applied to both metals and due to electrodeposition, the copper gives away its material and copper-plates the steel. The rate at which the copper dissolves is equal to the rate at which the steel or the steel-mesh is plated, thus illustrating how the one material is supporting the other. They need each other for the transformation of the material.
Left in the sulphate bath for some time both materials are enriched in patterns, formability or, in the case of the mesh, stability. Whilst the copper can be decorated with patterns or receives constructed folding lines, the stainless steel-mesh slowly grows together, becomes solid, well connected and even paper clips become permanently attached.
Through the slow process of electroplating, a copper-element and a piece of stainless steel physically transform, become related to each other and form new
patterns and shapes.
copper, copper sheets, stainless steel, paper-clips
Katharina Mischer, Thomas Traxler, Maria Bauhofer