Sunday, July 15, 2012

After spending a week making this pile of prototypes I began to loose interest in the triangular shape that I was repeating.  I had cast the cups from my previous post and really enjoyed them, so I decided to make a pitcher to go with them.

I started off with what turned out to be a slightly too big plaster block.
I ended up cutting about an inch off the bottom to make it a more reasonable height.

I sketched out a shape that I thought went well with the cups.

Starting the carving with the compass saw made things a little quicker, it was still a long process, it took me about 6 hours in total to finish this.

I gave myself blisters with the double ended rasp.  Whoever invented that tool has no concept of how to make a tool ergonomically friendly.  The surform is my favorite.

The form completely carved.

After carving I spent a lot of time sanding, making things perfect.  My intention is to make this a drop out mold (we'll see if I am bold enough to try it).  If anyone reading this was at the Arrowmont workshop, they do sell the large sanding screens at the Home Depot, just not with the drywall supplies.  I found them in the tool rental section being sold for floor sanders.

I was on a roll after making the pitcher and decided to use the piece I cut off the bottom to make a plate to go with the set.

I made a successful drop-out mold of the plate yesterday.  I will spend next week making molds of of all the other models.  As I was playing with them yesterday I regained my interest in the triangles, so it won't be boring to make molds of them.  I can see potential for combining castings and making more interesting forms.
After I was done with my carving frenzy I had this pile of scrap left.  It feels sort of wasteful.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I made the first castings from the molds I made at Arrowmont.  The molds work perfectly, with very little cleanup to do on the castings.  I really learned how to make better mold seams than I had been.  Now all I have to figure out is how I will glaze them.  I have a ton of ideas, now for the testing.

Friday, July 6, 2012

I did some glaze testing last weekend.  If one of my students took the approach I have I would tell them they were doing it all wrong.  On the basis of one test that was over-fired I've chosen a glaze.  I needed to place an order for materials ASAP in order to be able to finish my project by the end of the summer, and of course I wanted to order all of the material together to save on shipping, so I had to decide on a glaze right away.  I wanted a base that was satin and would not obscure decoration underneath or cause oxides to run.  Of the four tests I did only one really fit the criteria.  Of coarse it was over-fired so I'm gambling that I will continue to like the results, but I figure if the glaze looks good over-fired it can't go wrong.  I'll do a better job of testing when it comes to adding color.  The base I ended up choosing was one of the high calcium semi matte glaze bases from Mastering Cone Six Glazes.

I've spent the last week working on the plaster profiling/ sledging techniques I learned at Arrowmont.  I'm still not sure what I think of the process, I'll have to make some molds and use the castings before I'm sure.  The profiling process involves long waits and then a few stressful moments to get things right, but it is a really cool way to create a profile.  This should end up being a set of triangular dinnerware when I am done.