Turning Milk to Plastic Workshop

Jan 12 2019 13:00 - 17:00

STORE STORE, 118, Lower Stable Street, N1C 4DR London

The holiday season can leave us with a lot of leftovers, which is why our Saturday workshop series in January will look at how we can recycle and reuse some of the waste products from Christmas.

The workshop will go through the process of extracting the protein from milk to form a natural alternative to plastic, in order to produce small handcrafted objects. The Protein project seeks to re-envision milk as a resourceful and valuable raw material, utilising waste milk from the dairy industry. As we know, the 20th century facilitated the worldwide manufacture of synthetic plastics, providing us with a cheap and easily accessible material. However, the economic benefits of designing with artificial plastics no longer weighs up against environmental drawbacks.

This natural milk plastic is composed of the proteins (otherwise known as casein) extracted from skimmed milk, which when processed appropriately forms a hard mass. Casein plastic was produced commercially during the early 1900’s in the UK, however faded from use due to the development of polymers derived from oil. In this workshop we will adapt the production techniques of the past to influence the future of making. Pigments will be used with the milk to produce a range of colours and effects, and hand shape small pieces with the clay-like material, which will harden overnight. The skimmed milk will be provided by Hook & Son organic farm in Sussex.

Tessa Silva-Dawson is a process-lead designer maker based in London, graduated from the MA Design Products course at the Royal College of Art. Projects are born from an ongoing fascination in our material culture, throughout the past, present, and into the future. The work is often intended as a catalyst for discourse - shifting perceptions of the material world and stimulating the creative exploration of the weird and wonderful resources available.
Her ongoing project, Protein, is an investigation into the use of milk proteins as a natural material for the handcrafted production of objects.

This workshop is open to a maximum of 10 participants (age 10+).

Attendance at the workshop costs £30 (£20 students) with all proceeds supporting the SCHOOL SCHOOL after school club for the local state school students.


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