Projects to date: 1
first project: 2021
In the summer of 2021, my partner and I visited the Muskoka lakes area of Ontario. The beautiful landscape of this region is unlike anywhere else. This year it was hard not to notice the mass excess of dead pine needles all over the ground due to a bloom of Gypsy Moths (Lymantria dispar dispar), an invasive species to North America, feeding on the trees above. According to the Ontario Ministry of Forests "defoliation caused by the moths in Ontario increased from 586,385 hectares in 2020 to almost 1.8 million hectares in 2021."
A highlighted section of the Muskoka region.
Various mixtures and tests were done to fine the mixture that would use the most dead pine needles in comparison to the other elements. In some, the mixture created a very hard and brittle substance while in others it was too soft and flimsy. When a middle ground was found, the mixture could be packed in moulds and has the ability to take screws and nails like wood when fully dry.
As the material dries and hardens, the excess water is evaporated. The colour, texture and shape change slightly as it takes its final form. In this animation, you can see the material states at 1min, 1 hour, 1 day, and 1 week from demoulding. →
Andrew Black - Hypnopompia
Material Innovation, and Design
MATERIAL 01: dropped pine needles
MATERIAL 02: Pine resin
MATERIAL 03: starch
MATERIAL 04: white vinegar
Project Code: pn01
Hypnopompia was both an exploration in material development and a collaboration with a musicians music and life story.
In early 2021 I had a conversation with musician Andrew Black to talk about his influences and story. It was evident from this conversation that his upbringing amongst the giant pines of the pacific northwest was very important, and creating something out of the natural waste produced from these trees was the direction to go in.
On the other side of the continent, a place that I grew up adventuring in the summers, also happened to be covered by these similar types coniferous trees.
In the summer of 2021, on trips to the Muskoka and Algonquin regions of Ontario, it was clear that there was an abundance of dropped pine needles compared to past years. These needles were collected and became the base of these sculptures.
"I was nearly finished writing this album in October of this year when a good friend of mine suddenly passed away. I took some time away from working on the songs to grieve and when I returned to them they no longer felt right. I tore most of the songs apart and reconstructed them with sounds and chord progressions that I felt more accurately conveyed how I was feeling at that point.
I find a lot of my inspiration comes from the environment of my home in Oregon. This album is special to me, it is a memorial to a friend that I’ll miss forever.”
- Andrew Black