During a trip to Nepal, I was very inspired by the bowls made of leaves used to serve momos on the street.


I really liked the idea of re-using biodegradable material to make something, so I wanted to experiment with using banana leaves as the fiber for the composite this week.  I got a bag of banana leaves from a local grocery store and dried it in the oven to get rid of the moisture.  I've been advised that this would take the moisture out of the leaves so the resin can be absorbed.
BananaLeaf   DriedLeaf

I decided to make a laptop case.  I made a mold out of foam and wrapped it with aluminimum foil to prevent the composite from sticking.  Then I got to work with the composite.  The problem with the banana leaves is that it was so dried that it crumbled as soon as I tried to dip them into the bucket of resin, or wrapped it around the edge.  


I finally decided that I wasn't able to use the leaves and used the original fabric instead.  Aside from being messy, this was a pretty straight forward process since the fabric absorbed the resin extremely well.  I tried to sneak pieces of leaves into the composite to give it an organic look.  Here's the following product:


After the mold came out, I spent some time in the Hobby Shop using the drill to get the foam core out of the mold.  It was a long and tedious process breaking the core into small pieces to dig out, but I was happy with the result.

Product                              LaptopCase