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Pushing the boundaries…

Goldfinger Factory, Wellcome Trust magazine rack

At Sphere8 we have spent nearly 8 (conveniently!) years building up our expertise in hand-poured floors and hand-applied wall coverings. Our resin has been adapted and perfected for this purpose, made UV-stable and durable with different build ups for almost every environment imaginable. However, we hadn’t planned for furniture! Not that this deterred us when we embarked on a project with Goldfinger Factory and Wellcome Trust to cover a bespoke magazine rack in layers of resin…

Waste into Gold

The goal was to create a magazine rack for Wellcome Trust – a global charitable foundation that promotes developments in health through research, policy change, debate and education. Goldfinger Factory (who you can learn more about here…) had already got on board with the creation of a bespoke piece that would be covered in clippings and cutouts of old Wellcome Trust publications. One of the great pillars of the Goldfinger ethos is the recycling of materials that would otherwise be thrown away or wasted – it therefore makes sense that a central feature of this project was the recycling of previous Wellcome Trust materials.

The magazine rack itself was designed, built and constructed by the team at Goldfinger Factory in their West London workshop. They then worked with the Trust to design and arrange the clippings to create a bold, dynamic and exciting finished design. This is then where Sphere8 comes in…

Floors to Furniture

Having met at the LDF Harvest Festival through Tom Dixon, we were already investigating the potential for collaborations with Goldfinger. These possibilities included a Tom Dixon designed table covered in resin – poured over the existing framework to create a unique and bespoke piece. Off the back of this idea, Goldfinger started to question what else we could just pour resin over… and did this include magazine racks?!

Goldfinger Factory, Wellcome Trust magazine rack

Trial and Error

We decided that yes it did – and embraced the challenge whole-heartedly! First we experimented with technique and finishes on a trial board. Using MDF covered in images from a Sphere8 brochure, we created a test piece with two different seal coats – matt and silk finishes. Overall the matt finish was both more durable and more resistant to fingerprints etc. so having discussed the prototypes with Goldfinger and Wellcome Trust we were ready to go! Over a period of several days we covered the boards and trays that made up the magazine rack in several layers of resin – much as we lay our floors! Pouring a layer, allowing it to dry and then gradually building up a durable finish over a few millimetres. The big difference was having to contain the resin with masking tape-made dams – and the fact that we were using paintbrushes and rollers that were much smaller than normal!

Finally we had the finished pieces ready to send back to Goldfinger, where they were assembled. The final piece will be displayed by Wellcome Trust with information about the creative processes behind its creation. More than anything it focuses on the recycling and reusing of waste, as well as a chance for Wellcome Trust to highlight just some of the amazing work they do! A very worthwhile cause and the perfect excuse for us to really push our own boundaries!

Goldfinger Factory, Wellcome Trust magazine rack