Mar. 31, 2015 | By Kira

The ever-useful UrbanDictionary.com defines a Sneakerhead as “a person who collects limited, rare, OG, or flat out exclusive kicks,”—that is, more generally speaking, a person who simply loves to collect, customize, and wear designer sneakers and shoes. Dominic Goldman, the Executive Creative Director at UK creative agency London Grey, definitely fits the bill.

As an homage to his favourite sneaker, and in celebration of Air Max 1 Day back on March 26th, Goldman created a limited series of solid concrete AM1 sculptures “for the sneakerhead’s home.” Ranging from white through several shades of gray up to black, each pair is meticulously sculpted and comes with a rough-finished wooden ‘shoe box’ stand to proudly display the iconic silhouette.

Though the final product is crisp and stunning, the actual process of creating them was nowhere near as smooth. As it was Goldman’s first attempt at sculpting and 3D modeling, there were a few trip-ups along the way. The artist began by commissioning a 3D designer to craft and print a 3D model of the original sneaker. Unfortunately, the model broke several times and had to go through several iterations before it could be successfully manipulated. When he was finally able to bring the 3D models to another company to create a mold, they broke again. “The 3D printing company said it was the hardest thing they’d try to print,” said Goldman.

After several attempts, he finally had a workable mold, to which a super fine aggregate concrete was added, and the various white, grey and black dyes were embedded into the concrete mix in order to directly integrate the monochromatic colour scheme. The choice of concrete as the sculpting material wasn’t haphazard: “concrete is the opposite of air, and was partly ironic and partly immortalizing the sneaker I love,” said Goldman. Unlike the actual running shoe, the first to feature a visible Air cushioning unit in its heel, the concrete sculptures weigh an impressive 3.5kg (7.7 lbs).

According to the artist, one of the biggest challenges was extracting all of the air bubbles and preserving the stitching and details that make the AM1 as distinctive as it is, such as the tread on the sole. However, his hard work and attention to detail paid off: each stitch and tread is exactly in place, not to mention the immaculate Nike Swoosh. As an added, personal touch, the back of each shoe is signed “Tiny,” Goldmans’ artist tag and the name of his grandfather, U.K. boxer Tiny Bostock.

Although the sculptures are not yet for sale, Goldman does intend to sell them. At present, his estimated cost per pair is roughly 900£ (€1,240).

Dominic Goldman, ECD at London Grey and the artist behind Air Max 1 Concrete

The original Air Max 1

The Nike Air Max 1 was launched 28 years ago and is one of the most iconic, enduring running shoe designs of all time, with hundreds of millions of pairs worn around the globe. Designed by Tinker Hatfiled, a former architecture student who has also designed several versions of the Air Jordan, the AM1 was the first sneaker to feature a visible Air cushioning unit in its heel—a design choice that was mocked at the time, but as since been mimicked by countless competing brands. Nike Air Max Day, which passed on March 26th, is an annual celebration of the timeless shoe and excuse for consumers around the world to showcase their favourite pair .

 

 

Posted in 3D Printers

 

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