July 10, 2012
Maybe part of the recent trend toward figurative bottle punts, has to do with the emergence of the “petaloid” base. Originally conceived of as a way of adding more strength and stability to one-piece, blow-molded, 2-liter PET bottles, the petaloid base was the “killer app” breakthrough…
The first ‘killer application’ for PET was the 2-litre bottle for carbonated soft drinks, introduced in 1978. The first bottles featured a dome-shaped bottom ideally suited to sustain internal pressures… This required an additional plastic component, called a base cup, to be glued to the bottom in a secondary operation in order for the bottle to stand up. However, cost as well as recycling considerations (glue residue) encouraged the development of a one-piece bottle. The breakthrough came with the design of the so-called Petaloid base, a thick, mostly amorphous center disk surrounded by five blown feet. Granted as patent to the Continental Can Company in 1971, it caused controversy with 3 other patents and litigation ensued over several years.
Recycling artists have already picked up on the daisy-like shape of bottle bases (see Michelle Brand’s “Flowerfall” below) but the structural design for a bottle’s petaloid base can also varied and extended in less flowery ways. More about that tomorrow.