Vacuum forming used in art

Since learning about vacuum forming I’ve really become interested in what kind of art it can produce. Although this is only the first week I feel confident that I want to experiment with it further along in my project.

I have been looking into what kind of art can be produced using vac form.

Brendan Fletcher

Brendan Fletcher is a lecturer at the university and has created some engaging art using vac forming.


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He uses materials of different colours and shapes to create intricate geological pieces. The vacuum formed pieces are aesthetically pleasing in terms of the way the individual shapes fit together and how the colours compliment and contrast with each other. To create pieces like this I imagine Fletcher used a thick enough material to ensure the material didn’t pop where there were corners, but a thin enough material to ensure that all the shapes were properly defined. I don’t know whether the piece was created as one and painted, whether it made made in one go with different coloured materials or whether it was made in separate pieces and put together. However each option is definitely a viable way to create it. If I were to create something like this I feel that I would try to create layers by vacuum forming the same whole structure in different colours and cutting out and adding on parts to create the final piece.

Philip Wiegard

Not much information is around for Phillip Wiegard or his work, however I came across a ‘deep drawing’ technique that he used which is drawing on a 2D surface in a way that makes the objects look 3D. To create this image he has placed a pair of trainers in a vac forming machine and drawn from that piece.

nike-whiteAs we tried to vacuum form a shoe in the workshop I know that kind of effect is given to a shoe when it is compressed that way, and in my personal opinion I believe that the shoes look as if they’ve been compressed. The way an everyday object looks when it is viewed in a different way than usual is very interesting and I like the fact that such a simple object could create new perspective.


Yuki Matsueda

Matsueda uses vacuum forming to create a commentary on Andy Worhol’s Cambells Soup Can. In this modern recreation of the work Matsueda has pictures the wrappers of the soup cans and the cans themselves jumping out of them. They have used vacuum forming to create the illusion of motion from the 2D image to the 3D world.

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Matsueda has also recreated the iconic unrealistic colours Warhol originally used in his prints. The modern interpretation of this work is interesting and brings a 3D style to the original piece. The 3D nature of these pieces allows the audience to interact with the piece on a closer level by seeing the separate elements of the original image broken down in a quirky and unusual way.

Seth Price

Whilst searching for how vacuum forming can be used I came across how it could be used in and relating to fashion. Seth Price’s Vintage Bomber Jacket is a really interesting piece and caught my eye in terms of how the texture of the material was replicated in the plastic. Calling it a Vintage Bomber is giving the viewer the idea that the piece is expensive or valuable, but by displaying it this way in it’s most deformed shape it creates a juxtaposition between valuable items and how they’re usually treated – as fragile.

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By using a metallic material it creates a visually stimulating piece as light reflects off the surface. The material may have been chosen to replicate the colour of the original jacket or it may have been chosen to contrast with the original colour of the jacket and add to the sense of unrealistic replication.

I find the use of vac forming in fashion to be extremely interesting as whilst it is possible to create an unwearable replication of a piece of clothing it is also possible to create items that are indeed wearable as clothes.

Lou Moria 

Lou Moria has created pairs of shoes from plastic using the vacuum forming method. Her aim in creating these shoes was to provide a cheap and easy way to make shoes that were also cheap. Her aim was also to create recyclable shoes so that the material was sustainable and more eco friendly.

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What ideas am I taking from exploring this work?

I am interested in further researching how vac forming can be used in fashion. There seems to be two different sides to using vac forming within fashion – aesthetics and practicality. I would like to know more about both sides and how they both use vac forming to their advantages.

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