Poligon sculptures are made from the finest quality Japanese stainless steel and brass. We use a process called Photo Chemical Milling (or Photo Etching), to create the foldable templates you receive in the box.
Photo etching is a chemical milling process that is used to fabricate sheet metal components. This process uses a photo resist film and a chemical etchant to corrosively machine away selected areas of the stainless steel or brass.
The design pattern is created out of the photo resist film and then vacuum sealed to the surface of the sheet metal. The exposed areas of metal are then eroded away by the chemical etchant. By sealing a reverse of the pattern on the other side of the metal using the photo resist film, we are able to cut out the shapes which will transform into your sculpture. This happens as the chemical is able to erode right through the metal where it is exposed on both sides.
In order to create the fold lines, we fully cover one side of the metal with the photo resist film. This leaves the chemical etchant to partially erode only one side of the metal.
It’s actually an ancient method of very intricate detailing on metal. Chemical etching was used regularly in Europe during the fifteenth century when it was used to decorate suits of armour. The earliest reference to this process describes an etchant made from common salt, vinegar and charcoal acting through a hand scribed mask of linseed oil paint. The process is still used for decoration but advances in accuracy mean it is used in a wide variety of applications from the automotive industry to the space industry to air filtration (you can etch thin sheet so finely that it can filter air!). We fell in love with the process because it doesn't require hugely expensive tooling but gives highly accurate results with beautiful metals. It really has freed our creative thinking and these sculptures are just the beginning!