Friday, May 21, 2010

Mold 1, Sculptor 0

I said I would speak more about the conceptual, and less about the technical, but not today. On hiatus from the figure (more on that later), yesterday I got back to work on something I've wanted to do for the last couple years - casting these plates in ceramic.

About a year ago, I looked into getting them produced in a ram press by the very smart and talented Mark Lueders over at The Ceramic Shop, but in the end, Mark doesn't set up the press for runs of less than a couple hundred, and I wasn't ready to commit to those numbers, or that level of retail involvement.

A couple of months later, Mr. Steven Weber assured me that making a slip casting mold on my own would be "easy". Of course, there is really no such thing as an "easy" casting process, particularly on your first time out.

Started by making some slick foam-core molds. Problem was, I made the walls before I put the plates in, which meant I couldn't really see the edges of the plates, which meant I didn't do a great job defining the all important parting line.

Not doing a great job defining the parting line means that things get stuck, and have to be broken out, rather than coming out cleanly.

In this case, all of that didn't matter, because I actually dinged the surface of the mold while trying to get the pieces of the mold to separate, so even if the parting line had been perfect, and the plate had come out like a muffins from well greased tin, it wouldn't have made a difference. Dings like that you can't fix.

I did another version that day, which I didn't take pics of, but which looks promising, and which I'm hoping to get poured tomorrow. We'll see.

I had another technical set-back on a whole other project today, but more on that later.

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