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ben brady

upcycled bowl redux… vase

For my final FutureCraft project, I am re-visiting the upcycled bowl.   How far can this idea of reusing nut shells be pushed?

pistachios are expensive…. so why not get another use out of the them when you are done eating?

So far, I have expanded my shells to Peanuts as well as the original Pistachios.  The pistachio worked well for a bowl, but lacked certain things I was interested in.  While the bowl held up pretty well, there were lots of little holes and the bowl was a far cry from being able to handle anything liquid.  Now, I am experimenting in more low-tech processes that I can apply to the shell before sculpting it into a bowl or whatever.  I have tried to grind the shells and create a mixture that I can manipulate.  So far, I have shelled a lot of peanuts and ground them.  I combined them with glue to get a granola/oatmeal textured goo.  I have rolled it out with a pin, baked it, frozen it, and tried to cut it.  The ultimate goal is to create an entire place setting (bowl, cup, plate, and placemat) made of upcycled nut shells.  We shall see.

so the peanuts were too weak and fine to make any type of structural mixture without compression.  It was pretty much like trying to make MDF by hand.  It sort of doesn’t stick together and it absorbs too much glue.  This still might serve as a placemat or something, I am not sure.  I moved onto just crushing pistachios again to get different shapes.  I made what could be the start of a plate and then I rolled out some sheets of the material to let dry.  I am working on reviving the material with water and heat after the glue has set to make forms.  I have displayed an ideal form for this shape above.  I would love to make a nice vase for the table to go along with the bowls.

PEANUTS OUT!  The peanut shells are sort of a disaster.  But, I have a new idea now.  The pistachio shells will handle the form making without too much trouble, but, they are very porous.  If I mix the finer peanut shells with the pistachios, I may be able to create a form that is more stable with the peanut shells acting more like a binding agent or mortar.

perhaps a clay base could be nice to hold the water and then I wouldn’t have to muck around with mixing the peanuts with the cashews.  Another problem with peanuts is that when they mix together they are ugly.  Pistachios are better looking than peanuts.

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