The Protein project is an investigation into the use of milk proteins as a natural material for the handcrafted production of objects. Originating from an interest in pre-industrial plastics – particularly the processes used to create materials prior to the mass-manufacture of synthetics - the project draws inspiration from the past to influence the future of making. By reinventing century-old processes, this unusual material manifests itself as sculptural objects, utilising surplus milk sourced from the waste generated by organic farms in England. The objects boast the variety of finishes the material can achieve, and illustrate an in depth body of research.
The material is versatile in both its properties and the processes that can be applied to it. Although typically referred to as a plastic alternative, it also possesses qualities comparable to natural binders, and modelling materials such as clay. It therefore allows for a lot of creative freedom when it comes to designing the various processes to apply to this material; not only can it be treated as a thermoplastic allowing for compression moulding, etc, it can also be sculpted by hand.