As you may have seen, my frequency projects and artworks had a lot to do with milk. That is so, because the theme of the year was cow. What so ever, I learnt a lot about cows and especially about milk, that past year and found out that there used to be a material called galalith or milkstone before plastic or other synthetic materials were invented.
Galalith is a casein-synthetic material, invented in 1897 by Wilhelm Krische and Adolf Spitteler. They then founded a Galalith production company in germany. Until 1930 it was produced in large amounts for buttons, jewelry, silverware handles and also electrical insulation for devices and especially for weapons system. Galalith was made of casein and formaldehyde and therefore was fire resistant and waterproof.
The only ingredient of milk stone is milk, or better the casein in the milk. Because of how I produce it, it has a 100% natural finish, so it is not waterproof.
Imagine, in our plastic world full of indestructible long-lasting plastic waste, a 100% natural and biodegradable plastic material that has a nice silky soft touch and an ivory appearance, which you can easily produce yourself.
And the best thing is, that it is not super long-lasting. Have you ever thought about, how much long-lasting stuff we produce nowadays? Just to throw it away after a short period of time… Most things don’t need to be that long-lasting. Milk stone in its natural form is very hard and robust, but melts away in water. Learning how to let go…
Learning how to let go, or how to produce milk stone:
- fresh low-fat milk
- heat one cup of milk in a pot until it starts to boil
- add one tablespoon of vinegar and stir
- depending on heat, milk and other mystical components, the milk will immediately start to form smaller or bigger chunks, because the vinegar splits the casein from the water in the milk and the heat sticks them together
- the bigger chunks the better
- now you sieve the sticky and a bit smelly white mass, try not to burn yourself
- then carefully take it in your hand and try to press as much water out as possible
- I recommend to give it a flat round shape and let it dry (1-2 weeks)
- it’s very crumbly as long it’s not fully dry
- don’t be frustrated when it doesn’t work that well the first time, you have to get a feeling for it
- once it fully dried, you can sand, cut, and drill it and give it every desired shape
- have fun producing your own natural plastic 😉