Tyvek / Prison Contraband


In prison, many activities and objects are considered to be contraband. Gambling, alcohol, and weapons (to name a few) are not allowed inside prison walls.  I began this design process by researching the material properties and limitations of Tyvek.

It melts (ish), it is hard to rip, and it repels water.

My initial sketches explored the idea of using Tyvek and a scrap material to fabricate a prison shank.


I set out to sculpt the form from a piece of scrap wood; small enough to smuggle and hide. The shank would serve as a fork as well as having a sharp end that would be either dipped or covered in melted Tyvek.  This would give the wooden fork a long-lasting sharp edge for cutting smuggled food or fruits. 😉


I began carving the fork’s shape using rasps and files; as well as the battle that was melting the Tyvek onto the wood.

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Below is the final form.






Thank you.