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Not A Crystal by archeopterix2680

Not A Crystal


25 January 2017 at 16:06:57 MST

It resembles a crystal, but it definitely isn't. So what is it? It's probably obviously plastic. And plastic crystals have been around a long time; they are nothing new. What's different about this one is how it was made.

This Not-Crystal was made by cutting strips off a flat sheet of cast acrylic and bonding them together in a slab similar to the technique I use to make dense PVC objects. I used superglue or Cyanoacrylate and pressed them with clamps. The result is a near solid block of acrylic in which most of the boundaries between layers are nearly invisible at most angles. Glue spots and stress fractures between layers added to the look of natural flaws in the crystal. I rushed this object as proof of concept so there are deep sanding drum gouges left in the 'crystal'. I'll be experimenting with coloring them and also bonding the layers with acrylic cement instead of Cyano.

If one were to carve an acrylic crystal it would make sense to use a thicker sheet or block to save labor, but this proves that this is possible if there was some peculiar need. This method is the most rewarding means I've tried of making a false crystal. I did it primarily because I'm as much as or more of an experimenter as artist. I'm fascinated by exploring new methods and this one is showing great potential already. Because I desire a good amount of dense transparent components for projects that scatter light well this will be a very
rewarding technique to have.


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    If anyone wants to use this tecnique be very careful to use eye and respiratory protection and do it in a well ventilated area. Grinding acrylic releases hazardous particles and outgasses and the cyanoacrylate will still release highly irritating fumes- even when hardened- when it's ground.

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    If anyone wants more complete details on how to make these please send me a comment, shout, message etc
    I'll be happy to describe the process in detail.