This project investigates the way traditional materials can be brought into a contemporary design context. Victorian Bluestone has a rich history, which is embedded in the architecture and streets of Melbourne, as well as many rural towns in regional Victoria. Despite the understated beauty and versatility of this ubiquitous material, there is a larger contemporary issue emerging from quarrying practices today, in regards to the vast amounts of unused waste material generated.
This project explores how these waste materials can be reformed and designed with a contemporary interpretation of metamorphism. Using a practice-as-research approach (Archer, 1995), this project explores these natural stone materials, such as bluestone powder and sludge, through experimentation using various primitive and contemporary applications of casting, heating and pressurising.
At the conclusion of these explorations, a refined process and object is presented with an accompanying documentary and book to enlighten the viewer. What this project aims to achieve is not simply a finished object, but a dialogue around contemporary and traditional materials and processes. This discursive project aims to shift the viewer’s perception of quality regarding the idea of waste materials, and to emphasise the designer-maker’s role in devising new processes with age old materials.