This week we attempted to study how the folding patterns developed through a tensile net using “ridges” and “valleys” might be further explored by replacing the sharp “valley” folds (previously created by downward pulling strings) with curved valleys created by the weight of liquid wax (to mimic the influence of ice on the fabric). The model we used was the same interlaced diamond pattern that we had used previously that we now layered that with a synthetic/natural fiber blended fabric. Using a heated modeling table, paraffin wax was used to simulate liquid water (pre-freezing). Magnets were used to hold down the fabric pattern to the table, while strings attached to the frame around the table introduced the tension necessary to achieve the vaulting form. Once formed and the liquid wax was applied to the fabric layer, the heat was turned off to rigidify the model.
The resulting model showed some deformation of valleys caused by the wax, but some areas were less obvious due to the scale of the structure in comparison to the size of the folds in the pattern and the inability to create even and precise tension field on the cable net structure pulling up. In addition, due to the overall stiffness of the fabric and the number of facets on the vaulting form (causing there to be shallower valleys between the peaks) this model proved difficult to decipher.
The next step will likely include a scaling up of the fabric model on this heated wax table as well as using a pattern that has deeper folds in order to gain a more dramatic topography between the ridges and valleys produced by the tension net.