Diving for local materials, 

21st of January 2021

Diving in the nearby fjords 7 degrees below, to explore what materials are edible as well as beautiful. The water was crystal clear because of a lack of algae due to the cold weather. 

The Catch, 

21st of January 2021

We harvested scallops, flat oysters, normal oysters, mussels, O'skjell (northern horse mussel) and sukkertang (a sort of kelp)

Connection with Nature, 

21st of January 2021

After seeing for myself how the creatures lived in the ocean and picking them (only the large ones), it was more difficult than I imagined to take their life. I've grown up learning how to cut fish throats and boiling live crabs, so an approximation to the life I'm eating is not foreign to me. However, it became even stronger when I was the one on their territory - a guest to their habitat. 

Fascinated by these creatures, I learned that the scallop has 30-40 eyes, a sea urchin sees with his entire body and an oyster can live for twenty years. They all taste very good. 

Taste test, 

21st of January 2021

Tasting test of Norwegian flat oysters, the invasive Mediterranean oyster, and oysters from France. The best in the test was the Norwegian flat oyster. 

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Sanding & lacquer, 

26th of January 2021

Sanding and lacquering the different types of shells. The scallops seemed to be the touches and most compact, but no areas were flat enough to make a watch dial. The flat oysters were most promising at this point

Discovery 2, 

26th of January 2021

Something I thought would be a straight forward project, turned out not to be. As I filed down the inside of the shell, I could see that the in-between layers were super porous. After doing some research it turns out this porous substance is calcium carbonite. The tougher layers (nacre) is crystallized calcium carbonite. How does this creature crystalize it? Does the pattern of the structure in itself make it stronger? Can that be applied to other materials?

Acid Bath, 

27th of January 2021

As I did not want to file through the layers of nacre, I thought perhaps if I put the outside in acid, it would acidise away some of the layers, and leave me a thinner, more pure piece of nacre. It did. 

I tried different household acids, and the one that worked best was normal apple vinegar acid

Acid Bath, 

27th of January 2021

As I did not want to file through the layers of nacre, I thought perhaps if I put the outside in acid, it would acidise away some of the layers, and leave me a thinner, more pure piece of nacre. It did. 

I tried different household acids, and the one that worked best was normal apple vinegar acid

Result, 

28th of January 2021

After the acid bath and some more sanding (on the outside), and lacquering - I got an almost perfectly round shape in a beautiful white colour. It was thicker and not flat enough on the surface, but it resembled something I could use for this project.

 

Unfortunately, this was the only photo I took of it before the workshop I worked at shut down due to lockdown. I was not even allowed to come to collect my experiments 

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Photos, 

29th of January 2021

I took a range of photos of the diving catch that I'd like to share

Photos, 

29th of January 2021

I took a range of photos of the diving catch that I'd like to share

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Photos, 

29th of January 2021

I took a range of photos of the diving catch that I'd like to share

Photos, 

29th of January 2021

I took a range of photos of the diving catch that I'd like to share

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Photos, 

29th of January 2021

I took a range of photos of the diving catch that I'd like to share

Photos, 

29th of January 2021

I took a range of photos of the diving catch that I'd like to share

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Photos, 

29th of January 2021

I took a range of photos of the diving catch that I'd like to share

Photos, 

29th of January 2021

I took a range of photos of the diving catch that I'd like to share

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Photos, 

29th of January 2021

I took a range of photos of the diving catch that I'd like to share.

In this photo, you can see the polaroid I used to test the light - it was such an amazing warm golden light in Norway around 1600, but only for a couple of minutes, so for these photos I had to be quick

Photos, 

29th of January 2021

I ended up liking a photo I took with my iPhone the best

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35 mm

I took some photos with my 35 mm camera as well

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Another one of the 35 mm one

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Diving in again,

13th of February 2021

As the water had frozen and the temperature showed minus 15 degrees, we could only be in the water for an hour maximum before our bodies went numb - so I took a second dip on the 13th, where I could explore the underwater world a bit more. This time I saw a monkfish, as well as some troll crabs and a few scallops, but only three which was large enough to harvest. This dive was filmed, some clips I used in the B&M film

We had to walk through a frozen forest to get to the best diving spot

Diving in again,

13th of February 2021

This time we went down with tanks to get a better view of what was out of reach with our freediving gear

Diving in again,

13th of February 2021

The pink marble came through and was beautiful against the golden kelp. The life that was there was well camouflaged. Here you can spot a monkfish.

Diving in again,

13th of February 2021

Here we found a spot for scallops. They just laid about on the sandy bottom. When I went to pick them they had their "arms" out, and some tried to swim away. 

Diving in again,

13th of February 2021

Here is the team getting ready

Diving in again,

13th of February 2021

Our friend Henrik, was watching out for boats as the rest of us was diving down.

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Diving in again,

13th of February 2021

35 mm film photo of my friend Anne Lise Arnesen, who helped me with the filming

Diving in again,

13th of February 2021

It took maaaany takes, and we couldn't feel our hands in the end, and the GoPro would constantly shut down due to how cold it was. Here is my friend Anne Lise Arnesen helping me out with the filming.

Diving in again,

13th of February 2021

The colours was so vibrant - even more than we could catch on film

Diving in again,

13th of February 2021

... more colour study

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Cleaning of shells, 

15.02.2021

To avoid the rotten sea smell to affect my family's tolerance for me, I washed the shells thoroughly. First by hand, then in the washing machine at 90 degrees. They lost quite a bit of shine during this process (perhaps some of the organic matrix?) 

Grilling the shells, 

15.02.2021

What to do with the rest of the waste? Some need to go back into the ocean as oyster reefs are built on old oyster shells (the baby oysters attach themselves to them), but the rest could go to the production of the plates and glasses of the restaurant. Both ceramic and glass contain calcium carbonite.

Here I try with the mussels waste:

 

Grilled at 300 degrees

After 20 minutes: Burned smell and dark colour on edges - all shine from mother of pearl is gone

After 50 minutes: The burned smell is gone

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Breaking down the burnt shells, 

15.02.2021

After 1hr and 30 minutes: I take the shells out and they break easily

Breaking down the burnt shells, 

15.02.2021

Mixing the burnt shell powder with water, to make a clay paste. I let it sit for a day, where the water and the shells dried and became one solid mass

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Shaping the clay, 

16.02.2021

I again mixed it with water, to try and make something a shape. This was how the paste acted

Shaping the clay, 

16.02.2021

Baked it again on 300 degrees to see if it would hold

The result from bake #2 

16.02.2021

It crumbled.... Next step: to seek a ceramic expert and oven in Copenhagen when the strict lockdown situation opens up again

Holding on to shine properties, 

16.02.2021

Seeing how the pearly ability disappeared in the baking process, I wanted to see if there is a way I could preserve this ability. I smashed up some of the excess shells with a hammer. I will try to incorporate some of this pearly dust in the final ceramic glaze.

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Colour observations

17.02.2021

I was surprised by the overwhelming amount of pink hues under the ocean when we dived. It was a lot of pink and golden tones. I can see the same shine and hues inside the shells we picked too. 

Shiny abilities of nacre, 

17.02.2021

Here's a photo of the shiny ability, which is quite luxurious to me, that I got from a scallop shell after cleaning it thoroughly   

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Another try at sanding, 

18.02.2021

I had another go at sanding a larger shell to see if it was layered n the same way the younger ones was. It was - although some of the nacre layers were thicker and stronger, the issue of them forming in waves was still there. How can I make this dial flat?

Another try at sanding, 

18.02.2021

Here is a cross-section photo for you. This is at the end of the shell, where the nacre (light brown) layers are thicker, and the pulverised carbon calcium lays in pockets.

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Another try at sanding, 

18.02.2021

You can see here my problem with the different layers of calcium carbonite and narce. 

Studying other types of shells, 

20.02.2021

How do other types of shell look? How do they behave? I bought a bunch from a jeweller - the came from Greece originally, he told me. Here's a selection of them. 

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Studying other types of shells, 

20.02.2021

The effect of shine was clearer than the oysters I had (especially after cleaning). The nacre layer seemed to be thicker, and no layer of pulverized calcium carbonite was found.

Studying other types of shells, 

20.02.2021

This is an abalone shell. You can clearly see how the abalone has tried to capture parasites with its narce here - creating a cluster of pearls. 

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Studying other types of shells, 

20.02.2021

How do other types of shell look? How do they behave? I bought a bunch from a jeweller - the came from Greece originally, he told me. Here's a selection of them. 

Testing: bio-resin

Issue: how to get the dial flat.

Test 01: Bio resin

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Testing: bio-resin

I bought this clear bio-resin to mix at home. Two parts resin, and one part hardener. Mix it slowly, but thoroughly in one container, and transfer it to another, then to the last one - which is a silicone round one that I bought.  

Testing: bio-resin

As I dipped the cut of shell in the mix, it sunk and I was worried it would come through the other end (the bottom which I wanted to be flat)

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Result: bio-resin

I avoided many air bubbles, which is good for a first try, but the bottom was sticky even after four days (was supposed to harden within 24hrs). I must have mixed it wrong or not enough. 

Test: Shellac

I went to the hardware store and asked for any kind of varnish and epoxy. They had a hard time understanding me (my danish is not great yet), but they gave me shellac and I stopped asking questions in broken danish through my mask. 

I should have because as I got home to research Shellac, I went into a rabbit hole of youtube videos showing me how it is made of these vulnerable 'lac bugs' (Kerria lacca). Like tonns of them for a little bottle of shellac. I feel bad, but now that I had opened it already, I better put it to a test. 

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Test: Shellac

The shellac is a dark colour and very fluid. this type is usually for colouring and polishing wood apparently. I tried to mix it with a bit of the shells I grinded 

Test: Shellac

Mixing thoroughly 

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Result: Shellac

The result had a nice colour (I wonder how it would look if I added pigments). It felt weak, and I cracked it without much effort. 

Result: Shellac

It felt weak, and I cracked it without much effort.

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Test: Bio-resin 0.2

I wanted to try the bio-resin with the same method as the shellac

Test: Bio-resin 0.2

mixing it good

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Result: Bio-resin 0.2

It looked a bit dull, but I can imagine that would change with some pigments

Result: Bio-resin 0.2

It is very strong, and I am not able to crack it

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Test: Bio-resin 0.3

I wanted to see how, if I layered the shell-powder in the bottom and made a lid of bio-resin, it would turn out

Result: Bio-resin 0.3

It looked a bit uneven on top

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Result: Bio-resin 0.3

... and also a bit uneven at the bottom. 

Test: Engraving

I researched methods of how to polish shells and found some amazing engagements. Typically a style from the Victorian age, but perhaps I could try and make it a bit modern? So I found an engraver and started experimenting

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Test: Engraving

First, I just removed the brown outer layer of the shell 

Test: Engraving

It was not very easy to hold the engraver stable on a rugged surface, and again I had the issue of the different layers. 

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Test: Engraving

The engraving was not as easy as I'd imagined it to be. Instead, I kept on hitting 'pockets' of water, which was very smelly. 

Test: Engraving

I managed to release some flakes of nacre during the engraving process

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Test: Engraving

The shine effect is beautiful

Test: Engraving

The flake was brought home, to where I ct it up and filled it with bio resin

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Test: Engraving

Covering the flakes with bio-resin

Result: Engraving

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Result: Engraving

There were a bit too many bubbles, but otherwise, it looks good

Lost tapes

I had many ideas for the video before I landed on the storyboard I've shown you. I was inspired by these boys that made a hockey range out on the frozen water close to my mom's place. I went out to shoot them for a couple of days. I thought it was a bit scary to ask strangers if I could film them, hence my shaky hand.

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Test: Packaging

I found a packaging that I could recycle, and cut out some foam for the 'drawer'

Test: Packaging

I picked a fabric that I had laying around and that looked luxurious enough - polyester silk which is not great, but it was scrap material from my roommates attempt to make a dress, so I figured I'd use it.

I wanted to display the raw shell as well as the result in the package

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Test: Packaging

I found a packaging that I could recycle, and cut out some foam for the 'drawer'

Test: Animation via After Effects

I tried understanding After Effects by doing a little animation 

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Test: Adobe XD

I was a bit too ambitious and wanted to see if I could build my own website with XD (turns out you can't). But here is one of my animation tests

Test: Samples

Here are some more samples

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Final fit

Final fit of the best narce

THE FINAL RESULT

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