How can we make flexible, transparent wood-based materials? What kinds of materials can we derive from trees, while still respecting the preciousness of nature? Could the innovative use of renewable cellulosic materials change our material world?
The CHEMARTS Cookbook offers both simple and more advanced ideas and recipes for hands-on experiments with wood-based materials. The book showcases interesting results, focusing on raw materials that are processed either chemically or mechanically from trees or other plants: cellulose fibres, micro- or nano-structured fibrils, cellulose derivatives, lignin, bark, and wood extractives.
Recipe 14: Bio Slime
by Chiao-wen Hsu & Yu Chen, CHEMARTS Summer School 2019
Making DIY slimes has become extremely popular in recent years, especially among school children. This Bio slime is stretchable, elastic and slightly sticky. It contains no toxic or harmful chemicals. When playing is done, it can be composted or recycled in a bio-bin.
Recipe 19: 3D shapes through free drying
by Megan McGlynn, CHEMARTS Summer School 2019
This recipe focuses on shrinkage as an intrinsic result of drying cellulose materials. Encasing geometric tessellations between layers of cellulose creates tension in specific directions during the drying process. The resulting shapes are self- formed curvatures that vary widely, depending on the different patterns encased, the amount of material, and the drying conditions. Many of the outcomes are surprising in their strength, beauty and peculiarity.
Recipe 25: Bast Fibres from Willow Bark
by Tapani Vuorinen & Jinze Dou, CHEMARTS 2017
Willow is the common name for trees and shrubs of the Salix genus. Fast-growing willow hybrids have been developed for bioenergy crops. This recipe processes natural materials from willow inner bark for craft experiments. Willow bark peels easily, especially in late spring when the active growth season has started. Different willow species and hybrids may have different fibre properties and produce different colours, varying from pink to almost black.
Recipe 4: Common Reed Panels
by Päivi Lehtinen, CHEMARTS Summer School 2017
Common reed grows on waterfronts and has traditionally been used in, for example, roofs and carpets. Common reed is water-repellent, grows quickly and in some cases, can take over shallow lakes and needs to be torn away. This recipe shows a way to simply glue together common reed panels using pulp. The panels become quite strong but are not water-resistant.