Track 2: The sound of extruding and packaging Sugru – an extruding machine with small conveyor belt and two people putting the self-setting rubber into small packets. Sugru, Hackney, 0:34
While studying at the Royal College of art in 2003, Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh started investigating the idea of making a hand formed, putty like material that could be used to customise or fix existing every day objects. “I don’t want to buy new stuff all the time. I want to hack the stuff I already have so it works better for me.”
Six years of research and development later, Sugru, a unique air drying rubber, was launched on the public.
“Developed by a team of product designers and materials scientists, sugru’s patented technology is unique in its combination of hand-formability, self-adhesion and flexibility when cured. It feels like modelling clay, and it’s that easy to use too. Once cured, its durable properties mean it’s comfortable in extreme environments from the dishwasher to the ocean to Antarctica.”
I visited Sugru, who now employ around twenty people, and made some recordings for the Sounds of making in East London vinyl record. I then sat down to chat with James Carrigan, who has been part of Sugru from the early years. He told me about their latest project that involves creating products designed to be finished by the owner using a supplied packet of Sugru. They are currently working with two Olympic fencers on a sword handle with a Sugru created grip.