• Shelby McAuliffe

Making a Mold


Inspired by the landscape of the Black Rock Desert, Nevada

Where the landscapes extends to an eternal abyss.

The dust settles through the seasons,

drys and adheres to naturally formed tiles.

Tessellating until the base of the mountains.

Black Rock Desert, Nevada | Shelby McAuliffe, 2016

This project is to create a mold. To cast an object that would otherwise not have existed in the end material. My project is modeled after the repetition of the desert landscape. The endless vantage point of alkaline.

My first tile was created by using method of creating tessellations.

This will allow my tiles to fit into each other through repetition of shape and space. I can alter size and surface form to create alterations among the tiles.

This form of design will allow my piece to remain amorphous, without an edged boundary.

Once I had my curves ready, I used extrude and moved my objects up to the 2" the size of my foam to cut in the CNC.

I used cage edit to create points throughout the 3D object that I could push and pull to make my flat surface have waves, curves dips and bulges. Due to this being a tessellation piece, I left the sides straight so the objects would fit together. By holding shift this allowed me to move the points in one direction, vertical, to keep the sides from bulging out.

The space left between the C-Plane and the bottom of the object is the base of the material I will be cutting into. This will allow the CNC to know not to cut to the bottom of the material by placing a plane surface .5" above the C-Plane. Once I had my objects ready to cut, I then placed them within a box to be my mother mold.

Video answering our questions if Silicone sticks to foam-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-DLHE-amCY

To see the finished project see blog on Jointery.


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@ 2020 All photographs by Shelby McAuliffe 

Prints available upon request

Boulder, Colorado Artist

Available for travel worldwide