June 7, 2020

A Delicate Balance: Creating Art That Levitates

When artist Saks Afridi approached our team to produce a collection of pieces for a gallery show—with a timeline of just a few weeks—we sprung into action. One of the pieces, “The Hovering Minaret,” required a concrete mass to quite literally float in space. Eyal Chernichovsky, process engineer and production program manager at Form 3D, knew he had to make quick decisions to make that happen. “What I wanted to do initially was embed magnets in the form,” he says.

The Hovering Minaret
The Hovering Minaret

But because the mass featured several intricate undercuts, it would be impossible to pull a rigid form from the mold. Eyal’s solution was to instead use a flexible polyurethane, which he cast around the magnets. “The key is that you can create complex geometries from the flexible urethane that can be released from the mold despite the undercuts,” says Eyal, who used a stone-like finish to give the final product the desired concrete appearance. 


“The project itself was small in size, but it really captures our workflow,” says Eyal. “When you know the process well, you can go from digital to physical and back, and do what ten years ago wasn’t possible.” Eyal says it’s this creative workflow that makes Form 3D an attractive choice for artists. 


“The goal is to generate confidence that you can capture their message well,” he says. “You have to be able to understand what the artist wants to do and translate it within time and budget constraints, but capture their aesthetic even better.” Eyal says these on-the-fly solutions—figuring out how to cast from a different material, moving surfaces, or changing finishes—are part of what makes working with a short timeline so rewarding. “We got a better result in three weeks than we would have gotten in months, all without sacrificing the aesthetic,” he says.