Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Suspended Brass Rod Ceiling Sculpture

We're having a very busy year, which doesn't leave much room for us to do things like update our web site with our latest projects, so I thought I'd put up some posts with pics from projects not yet up on www.kolectiv.ca. Here's some from The Menkes Condo Store in Toronto, designed by Munge Leung. We welded together thousands of brass rods which formed a 'nest' type shape and then suspended the whole thing with steel cables. It was about 5' x 13'.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Neglected Blog

So this blog has been seriously neglected, but we're going to try to get it going again. We've added a twitter button on the right so click it and follow us. New project images will be up on our web site very soon! And we'll have a post up here about an exciting new environmentally friendly epoxy resin product that we're expecting delivery of shortly.

Friday, February 26, 2010

French Polish w/ a Twist

Here's a new sample that Maciek and I collaborated on. Woodburning (pyroghraphy) has always been seen as a sort of super crafty thing, it brings to mind those kits you find in big box craft stores or the toy sections of department stores. If you google pyrography, some pretty kitschy images come up. But I thought it would be an interesting technique to play around with using some more sophisticated materials, so I came up with the idea of putting a French polish finish over a burnt image on veneer. I burned in the image and then handed it over to Maciek who completed the sample with the French polish finish. Any type of image can be burned into the wood, we decided to try it on a lighter colour wood (birch) for our first attempt to get a decent contrast, but we will be experimenting with some darker woods.

Here's how wikipedia describes French polish, "French polishing is a wood finishing technique that results in a very high gloss surface, with a deep colour and chatoyancy. It consists of applying many thin coats of shellac dissolved in alcohol using a rubbing pad. The rubbing pad is made up of wadding inside a square piece of fabric and is commonly referred to as a fad (amongst many other names)."
"The process is lengthy and very repetitive. The finish is obtained through a specific combination of different rubbing motions (generally circles and figure-eights), waiting for considerable time, building up layers of polish and then spiriting off any streaks left in the surface. "
"French polishing became prominent in the 18th century. In the Victorian era, French polishing was commonly used on mahogany and other expensive woods, and was considered to give the best possible finish to exclusive furniture."

This technique is definitely not a 'budget' item, but it would be suitable for smaller, feature areas or pieces. It could be done on paneling or custom furniture pieces.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Drawing on Polished Plaster

So, I know it's been awhile since I last posted, but I have been busy, it's really not because of my super powers of procrastination. We've been hard at work making up sample kits for your libraries and as a result I have not had time to play around with the player piano rolls, but ideas are still swimming around in my head.
Today I thought I would post about a project we completed in December because I think it's a pretty interesting technique with a lot of possibilities. For a long time I had been experimenting with dry mediums to create drawings on polished plaster so we could create fine detailed images. Polished plaster doesn't accept dry mediums very well, it's like trying to draw on glass. I stumbled upon a box of grease pencils in my art supply stash and tried them out. They worked like a charm, allowing different possibilities in line quality due to their smudgability. They also are completely permanent,  once sealed with our polish topcoat are completely irremovable.
Many of you have probably seen our first sample with this technique (look above 01-1201409). This one also included some incised lines. Below are some shots we took of a residential project in Yorkville. A very talented designer over at B+H, Dorota Gelner came up with this amazing design and her colleague Jodie Rosen fine tuned the colour selection. They wanted a grey line, but as grease pencils come in limited colours (black, white, blue and red) we used a combination of black and white pencils to create the design.

The diameter of the design is almost five feet and the wall is the first thing you see when entering the unit. It was challenging to photograph as we buffed the finish to a glass like sheen.

Hopefully soon I will have a chance to mess around with the item from my last post and I've come across another interesting item that will be up for grabs soon.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Must Be Fate

So here is the first unusual item up for grabs, it's the very vintage player piano rolls that I mentioned in my first post.

     So after my first post I went back to the place where I had come across the player piano rolls and underneath a pile of other stuff, I came across that same lot. I had been kicking myself for not buying them when I first saw them, but as luck would have it, they were still there! This paper is really cool stuff, it is quite delicate as you can see on the pic of the end section on the full roll. It has an aged colour to it, like old manila paper. The square holes are 1/16" wide and range in length from about 1/8" to 2" in length. I'm not sure how much paper is on each roll (I will eventually unroll one and measure it), but if feels pretty substantial.
     I've cut off a small piece from one roll to mess around with. I think I'll first try gluing is down to a hard surface and then applying a high gloss clearcoat ("lacquer"). But if anyone has any ideas, let me know. I'll post some pics of what I come up with.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


     This is my first official post here on PakRatt, so I guess I should explain a little about the concept of this blog.  Basically it's a communication tool to explore and present unusual materials and/or techniques that we (Kolectiv) have available for use in custom art installations and/or surface finishes.
     The idea came to me recently after I had a chance to purchase a sizable lot of vintage player piano music rolls. At the time I thought that they would make a really cool addition to some sort of installation, but I did not buy them because sampling with a material that is not readily available can prove problematic. I have a knack for finding lots of strange items but I've had to keep my pack rat ways in check so that my workspace doesn't become over run.
     So, enter PakRatt, here you will be able to view the stuff we collect and our ideas for their applications. Alternatively, if you see something you like and have your own ideas for its use, please get in touch. Keep in mind, most of the items you will see here will be one off type of things, so they will be best suited for a really unique feature area or object and once gone they will probably not be available again.
     The second objective of PakRatt is to let you know about any new techniques and materials that we are playing around with. Lots of discoveries happen in our sampling process, sometimes as the result of mistakes (which often lead to the most interesting directions). We're pretty excited about some new stuff we've been messing around with like wire macrame and some unconventional takes on French polish.
     Hopefully you will find this blog to be a useful resource and a good taking off point for the creative process. We're all really eager to share our ideas, so keep an eye out, cause I'll have my next post up within the next 3 days.