Domesticating limestone – neo stoneware
Calcium carbonate is a common material widely spread on Earth; it is dissolved in rivers and lakes; we can find it in skeletons and shells; it forms “tufa” and “stalagmites”; it builds up caves and mountains and it is also in our kettles and water pipes. It has various applications in our life in agriculture, food industry, glass industry and cement production. However, the main resource of limestone nowadays is mostly from quarries, we extract from the land and create messy “tailings” in the landscape. What kind of alternatives could we find in our surroundings?
One of the forms of calcium carbonate is “limescale”, a matter we produce in our water softening processes yet is often overlooked and discarded. In my research, I attempt to reintroduce limescale as a promising material to build and live with. I research how to reconfigure limescale and focus on creating “geopolymers”, a chemical process to bind inorganic materials together. Based on the material research, I speculate what a “neo stone age” would look like, and how this harvesting and production method could be integrated into the city, and change both our interiors and exteriors. Can we become Earth dwellers in this domesticated landscape?
Collection of Neo stonewares
Made from geo-mimicking processes
The resource is harvested from water softening process. It is a by-product of the water treatment process.
Seashells + sand
It is made from sand casting.
Collection of Neo stonewares #2
Made from sand casting and dripping.
A pot made from lime pellets
The pot will be absorbed by plants.
With infrastructure inside; like concrete but without cement; like ceramic but no need baking.
Material sample #1
Made from limestone
Material sample #2
Made from limescale
The Lime pellets
Harvested from a water treatment plant.
Harvested from an ex-swimming pool.
- Erco Lai
- Product design: object | Eco project
It started from an observation of seeing limescale generated in a kettle. In a way, we human actually keep producing "limestone" in our home everyday but now we just want to remove it. Thus, I began to do material research on limescale and tried to make stonewares from this artificial limestone.