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molding & embossing via vacuum

Another technique to design the surface of leather skins

This time my first attempt of molding leather a non handcraft way, or better to say with the help of a vacuum press. This machinery is available in the university, belonging to the department of industrial design.

After getting introduced to the technique, i started to experiment with the leather. First I tried to use soaked wet leather, after very thin elastic leather. There are different approaches: to shape it, or to embellish the surface, both for different applications.

The common process is the following: the plastic material softens as an effect of the heat above it. You put up the figure and then create a vacuum around it. After cooling down, a plastic material will remain in the shape. The form can be later used for epoxy resin, or porcelain or others.

As seen in the video a silicone sheet is used to create the vacuum. The advantage of silicone is, that you can use it many times. Different to e.g. plexiglass plates, which are single used. In this case the silicone sheet finds its way back to its original form. I am curios what else I can achieve with this technique. At the end I would like to combine the handcraft process with the mechanical.

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