Experiments with new substrates: Epoxy reinforced composite

Early on in the creation of Specula, I realized that it will be necessary to explore non traditional surfaces for painting with lacquer. The original support (substrate) of plywood covered with layers of clay and lacquer would be too unwieldy for the curve of the arch. The projected size of each piece would imply excessive weight that would complicate the installation and transport. Not to mention, the expansion and contraction of wood under abrupt changes of temperature and humidity puts greater stress on the stability of the painting.

For these reasons I started to experiment with different types of plastics. The first tests showed that raw son ta binds extremely well to an epoxy surface. This encouraged me to go further. Lightweight with adequate mechanical properties, the epoxy is reinforced with fiberglass to give it structure. Finally, the fact that epoxy emits lower volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere and does not require solvents for cleanup, making it the more environmentally friendly resin in the polymer family, made me finally decide on this material.

After experimenting with different catalysts and proportions, I was able to find the right recipe for creating the panels for Specula. In my studio, all the boards for Specula were created-- one mold for the curved apse, and one rectangle for the wall pieces.

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