les presses du réel

Tools #01 – To Mold

table of contents
1. Nature moulding
By Isabelle Moisi Cobti

History of a secular technique. Whether it's a familiar sculptor's process, a form of documentary piece or an emotional keepsake, nature casting, or live casting, is a technique that has been used for centuries. It is uniquely able to perfectly reproduce reality. For sculpture, live casting provides perfect realism; as it replicates an animal, vegetal or human form with all its specificities, live casting has been used by phrenologists, anthropologists, doctors, botanists, and zoologists, to name but a few. In these cases, the moulded specimen is not mass-produced, but rather studied as a unique and precious model.

2. The plastic utopia
by Marie Godfrain

Widespread use of plastics began in the 1950s and has since spread to all areas of production. Thanks to moulding, the mass production of plastic objects has changed our consumer habits and way of life. Low-cost plastic has proven the vehicle for the creative madness of a growing consumer society: art, fashion, design and architecture have all embraced it at their core. Moulding has become systematic, even compulsive, with objects sometimes moulded only for a single use. This has had a devastating impact on the planet we know today. Knowing and understanding the history of plastic and its manufacturing techniques means taking a fresh look at global plastic production in order to avoid the mistakes of the past century.

3. Ceramics !

A visual panorama of cast ceramics over the centuries.

4. The Dewulf brickworks
by Clément Aadli

From the world's first hand-moulded bricks to Dewulf, the last wood-fired brickworks in France, the brick moulding technique has gone from being widely used to becoming a rare product in the face of new building materials. Photographic overview.

5. The Jelly Eggs Series & Grandma and Grandpa Cakes :
by Jenna Castetbon & Romuald Roudier

Photographic series on the jelly dishes of ... & interviews with our elders on their use of moulds in the kitchen.

6. Bridges & Tunnels
by Isabelle Moisi Cobti

Selection and close look at some cast concrete bridges and tunnels around the world.

7. Glass vases

Photographic series of blown glass vases and their moulds.

8. Reltex: soles and their imprints
by Camille Azaïs

The story begins with the Mayan and Aztec Indians of South America who discovered the properties of a milky liquid flowing from the "weeping wood" Cao-Su tree. Eight hundred years ago, the Mayans were the first to use this milk by smearing it on their plantar arches: the rubber tree milk sole was born. Founded in 1970, Reltex is drawing on this ancient expertise by producing a sole made from pure natural hevea milk. We went to meet them. This article is divided into two parts: our report + a history of the sole.

9. Sandcasting
by Mathieu Buard

Until the second half of the 18th century, most decorative ironwork was wrought iron. As demand for mass produced cast iron increased, the first sandcast ironwork was produced. High-speed mass production was required for the construction industry. This article traces the history of metal casting from its initial appearance to the present day.

10. Cast objects

A selection of curious moulded objects found in the various recesses of the internet.

11. Notices by Playground Paris

Notes, Index & illustrated technical data sheets of different moulding types.

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