"I was making things with silicone sealants and sawdust, and started using the leftovers around the house," she says at her east London base. "I modified a knife handle to make it more comfortable. My boyfriend said, 'Imagine if everyone could do that -- like with stiff jam-jar lids.'Wired meets the woman behind Sugru (via Wonderland)
It was a great idea." It took seven years, two experts and the materials department at Queen Mary, University of London, to create a silicone that would be sticky but would also set rock hard without heating.
The result is a substance officially called Formerol. Each pack includes hack suggestions, but ní Dhulchaointigh has seen some original uses: "Someone sculpted a pair of hands coming out of their bathroom sink to hold the soap." This enthusiasm, she says, is influenced by user-generated online suggestions. "If digital stuff can be manipulated then people are going to expect it from physical products as well."
(Image: Perry Curties/Wired UK)