a little primer on laminate bending

I've fielded many questions over the years on how I bend many of the elements of my work. While some are tension bent, the more drastic and complex bends are achieved through laminate bending. This is a process where several individual and flexible layers are glued up together, then draw over a mold using a vacuum bag setup. Below is a quick photo essay of the process:

p.s. the finished piece that this part is for, will be in my solo show at Re:View Contemporary Gallery May 14th


1) thin, flexible stock is the key. the thinner the material, the tighter the bend you can achieve

2) add glue between each layer

3) put loosely glued assembly over form in vacuum bag and turn on the vacuum pump. this will draw the elastic PVC bag and material tight to the form, harnessing the force of atmospheric pressure to clamp the wood. depending on the cure time of the glue, leave in bag for several hours at least, with the pump cycling occasionally to maintain vacuum

4) pull out the cured piece and form

5) with some light prying to break any adhesion between the part and the mold from glue squeeze out, pop the piece off the of the mold.

6) for round two, I added these nylon straps to get the assembly with still wet glue into position before the bag draws down.