Goal: Create a second set of rice husk bowls using silicone molds and beet juice to add color
I am actually super happy with how this second batch came out. They are still really rough looking, but conceptually they solidified the idea that this process can be scalable with more powerful industrial machinery (such as a mechanical grinder to pulverize the rice husks into a fine powder and a high-temperature boiler to liquify the resin for better mold-ability).
To add color, I added beet juice while I was melting the resin and then added the ground rice husks to the mixture. In retrospect, I maybe should have maybe added the beet juice to the rice husk first so it would soak and absorb more color. Then, mix the wet rice husks with the resin in order to prevent the excess juice from separating from the mixture and allow for an overall richer color.
Next, I tried to place the soft resin mixture into silicone molds to create a more clean shape. However, overall this still proved to be difficult because I only have a few seconds to mold the material inside the thin folds of the mold before it begins to solidify. I actually ended up turning the molds inside out and placing chunks of the material around the mold. This was still a good test to see that if given better tools the surface can be shaped to become quite smooth.
In an attempt to smoothen the surface even more, I tried to file the surface with a clean emory file. Yet, this proved to be ineffective and created white scratches in the material. This could possibly be more effective if I use sanding power tools.
Excited to see what more testing leads me to 🙂