Monday, May 21, 2007

Coffee Bean Floors

Ah...that delicious first sip of morning coffee is anticipated and longed for as you wake to the deep, lush and wonderful smell of French Roast, Sumatra Mandheling or Eithiopia Yrgacheffe brewing. I really do enjoy nothing more than a great cup of coffee.
Recently, a client of mine asked me to prototype a coffee bean tile to use as her new kitchen floor, a coffee bean terrazzo if you will, so I've taken my love of the delicious brew to new extremes by infusing the wonderful aromas with polyurethane resin.

Once people discover you work with plastic, they have all sorts of ideas that involve plastic. I've spent less time working with wood and more time becoming somewhat of an expert in release agents and the multitudes of molding materials.
Here's what I discovered prototyping the coffee bean terrazzo:
  • Coffee bean floors are not a casual weekend warrior project
  • Green unroasted beans have more moisture than roasted beans, so when combined with the 2-part polyurethane the moisture creates bubbles
  • As the plastic cures, it heats up and releases vapors which mixed with the coffee beans, smells really good and then really weird
  • Even a sub-par casting came out looking pretty awesome
  • It's a really expensive process
And just an FYI-David Lynch has his own line of fair trade organic coffees available to purchase on his website. His slogan is "It's all in the beans...and I'm just full of beans".


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