One night a few years ago, when he was still in college, Gavin Keightley, an artist, attempted to make couscous for dinner. It was a failure. But as Keightley scraped the couscous from the bowl, he noticed that it retained its shape. Maybe, he thought, he could make a mold out of it—mold as in something that forms something else into a shape, not as in fungus.
Now Keightley has created a collection of furniture—one cabinet and some stools—cast in Jesmonite (a water-based molding material) based on molds made from food: not just couscous, but also bread, jelly, and mashed potatoes. For the handles, he cast pewter in molds made from peanut butter, noodles, and rice. The attraction to Keightley, besides the interesting textures, is that the molds are biodegradable. He told the website Dezeen that he composts them, and that he’s been looking into growing his own food to make the project completely self-sustaining. (You can see photos of his furniture at that link, too.)
“The most interesting effects,” writes Dezeen’s Alyn Griffiths, “were created by materials with a high fat-content, as the fat inside the mould would bubble when the hot pewter was added and create unusual, unpredictable textures.”
Alas, Keightley’s furniture isn’t for sale (yet). However, if you happen to be Eindhoven, The Netherlands, right now for Dutch Design Week, please go check it out and let us know what you think.