The Globe: building the forma 1st May 2014
Work has begun on building the forma for a more unusual project that we are embarking on – and that is to clad a 25m high sphere that will become a news agency headquarters in Saudi Arabia. The tiles will be made on this forma so they fit the curvature of the building.
Once the claywork has been fired, the forma will be dismantled and rebuilt to accommodate shrinkage – a common behaviour of clay.
Before clay is fired, it is very pliable and contains a great deal of water. As it dries and the water evaporates the clay particles contract causing the tiles to shrink by about 10%.
The fired tiles will need to be laid out and modelled around the slightly smaller version of the forma before the next stage of the ceramic process can begin– the application of colour.