Monday, 22 February 2010

more patterns

I have been working on more patterns for the jewellery. I have adapted the swallows design as I thought the joins between each bird was too thin. I think it works better now that the tyvek is cut thicker throughout, however, I think I still need to make the design tighter around the sheet so not to waste so much of the tyvek.
I now have a roses pattern, one of the traditional flowers that many people get tattooed. I like the shape of the roses but it is far to fragile at the moment, so I will need to simplify the design.
The next photo shows a pattern that I have seen in tattoos, it is quite decorative but not typical of tattoo design so it may need to also be changed if it is to work.
The last design is more tribal. I feel it may be too masculine, however. When I cut it out in the tyvek it was also very fiddly and I think it would be too delicate to be worn and to work well as jewellery.

strength testing the tyvek

I tested the strength of my samples of tyvek with Dr Mark Pridham in engineering. I used the Instron tensile testing machine that you can see in the top diagram. I put small samples of the tyvek into the machine. This gave me the maximum load, the tensile strength at maximum load, extension at machine break and tensile extension at maximum load. The samples of tyvek did not break in the machine but were stretched. I took samples of tyvek cut horizontally, vertically and diagonally to see if the direction made any difference to the strength. All of the results were similar, as you can see in the graph. I also tested a sample that was cut to see how easy it was to pull two pieces apart. This had less strength than the other samples. Each sample began to fail at around the same load and extension, therefore we can conclude that the structure of the tyvek is random. The strength really depends on the structure at that certain point, the thickness of the material varies in random patterns as well but the strength is similar throughout.

More information on tyvek can be found on the DuPont website:

A tyvek handbook is also available which tell of the properties of tyvek and additional information:

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

cutting the tyvek

These are examples of my first attempts of cutting the tyvek on the laser cutter. Firstly, I tried cutting some writing. I quite like the way it looks so that might become the basis of another design, featuring text that has been tattooed on people. I also cut the swallows design. I found that the A3 size would be a bit too small for the jewellery but using an A2 sheet would work well.

waterproof testing the tyvek

I now have the tyvek so it is ready to test. First, I tested to see how waterproof it is. I put a sheet of the tyvek over a bowl and secured it with an elastic band. I then poured water into a dip in the tyvek. I kept the water on the tyvek overnight then removed the sheet. I found that the bowl was completely dry, no water had seeped through the tyvek, therefore it is waterproof.

Monday, 8 February 2010

render and project plan

Above are the final render of my design. It shows a drawing of how the final product would look on the wearer and instructions on how it works and how the user interacts with it. The rationale of the project is also on this sheet, this says:
Tyvek cut-outs are a unique form of jewellery that are cost efficient and durable, and can be arranged by the user. Based around the aesthetics of tattoos, each item is a new form of non-permanent body adornment. Allowing the user to adapt their bodies without the permanence and pain of a real tattoo.
I have also produced a gantt chart of the next stages of my project, until the completion of the project which will allow me to keep on schedule.

prototype 2

I have also made some other jewellery with different patterns. All of the designs are based around tattoo imagery so it is a non-permanent form of body adornment. The sheets of tyvek will also come in packaging like the one above. A piece of ribbon also holds a cut out of the design so anyone buying the jewellery knows what imagery is on the jewellery. In this case, it is packaging for the swallows jewellery design.


I made a prototype of the jewellery out of normal paper. I will be testing the tyvek when it arrives. The user will get the jewellery in a tube that means the jewellery doesn't have to be folded, just rolled inside. The pattern of the jewellery is pre-cut, the user simply pulls out the pattern. Once the jewellery has been taken out it is ready to wear. It can be wrapped around the user's neck, wrist or anywhere else they would like to adorn. It can be cut to any length to suit and there will be a range of designs that can be layered over to create different looks.