Building the Mirror Dome

Building the dome for the LFA is a real struggle. The first mockup was made of cardboard (kraftboard) and mylar foil. The second model was made using actual materials selected for the Festival – soft wood and shrink mirror. Each triangle was 50x50x50cm.

Rosco – the company behind the mirror kindly agreed to sponsor the material needed to built the final structure. I have also ordered some ‘training’ scrap material online to help me master the shrinking. Although the instructions and video manuals make the process seem very easy – I can assure you – it’s not. It took me over three full days to figure out the technique – which is still pretty far from prefect.

The frame was made using 1x2inch timber pieces – trimmed at an angle required to build a pentagonal pyramid. The triangles were bound with PVA and additionally fixed with custom made metal plates bent at 138-degree angle.

Once 5 triangles were ready, the mirror film was stretched, gaffer taped and stapled to the frame. The heat gun was set to 200 degrees Celsius and the shrinking began.

After having spent some never-ending hours exploring the technique, five triangles were eventually ready to be joint. The recess was routed to accommodate the plate and screws below the surface of the outer layer – allowing for a smooth(er) finish.

Once everything was fixed together the frame was covered with equilateral cardboard triangles stapled to the wood for a more finished effect. To show the binding, one triangle was left uncovered.

The size of the final triangle will be 120x120x120cm (ouch…).