Today I got back my shot glasses from their first glaze firing. I have painted them all with the green glaze I bought and tested a few months ago. I decided to paint them all different to each other so that when they are being used people know which one is their glass.
I am still not having a lot of luck with the wine goblets. The one that I tested last I left to dry before cleaning up to see if it holds together better. When I came to clean it up I noticed it had a slight lean and a small crack at the bottom of the stem. It is still in tact and I have put it in to bisque fire however I am not very hopeful and I plan to redesign the whole goblet and start again to make it stronger.
On the plus side I got back two more pint glasses which I glazed today. I am very please with how these are working out and I will soon have a set.
For the last few days I have been working on finishing my hammer. Initially I made a handle from an unknown wood I found in the park. After Finishing the wood beautifully to a high polish I went to wedge the hammer head into the top and the wood split.
I then started again using a piece of oak. I initially used my 3D printed chisel to carve the plank. Although this was still cutting really well, I had to sharpen it regularly to keep a good cutting edge.
After 3 hours of solid carving I hadn’t made that much of a dint in the wood. I went over to the wood workshop to see if I could use the lathe on it. Malcom the technician offered an even better solution. He showed me how to use a spindle shaver. This is a tool I had never heard of before. It is similar to a plane however you hold it with two hands and it has a handle on each side.With in about an hour I had carved a nice dainty shaped handle that was better proportioned to the hammer head.
I used my 3D printed chisel again to clean and scrape the wood before I sanded it.Finally I cut a wedge of walnut wood and a wedge out of the top of the handle. I then added a little artificial chemical bonding (wood glue) and wedged the hammer head onto the handle. I plan to polish the handle with Danish oil every day for a week or two.
I am very please with the result. I plan to tweak it a little over the next week, however I can wait to start using it to see how it holds up.
A few weeks ago I sent away a CAD model of a jewellers hammer head to Shapeways. I got the model in the post on on Tuesday of this week. The hammer head cost just over £24 to print. I was able to design it the way I wanted it to look and personalised it with my hallmark.
I was very happy with the finished result of the print. Each of the faces of the hammer show the layers of the build and require to be sanded and polished. I have started to sand the flat side if the head which has been quite easy, although takes much longer than other metals. I am yet to start cleaning up the domed side. I feel this might be a little more tricky to get perfect.
After getting very excited about my hammer arriving and picking it up from the local shop I went straight to the park to find a suitable handle. I picked up a few sticks off the ground that looked roughly the right size and took them back to my flat. One of the sticks was very weak and snapped. The other I tested for strength before starting to work with the wood.
I used my 3D printed chizel to strip and carve the stick. This is the first time that I have really got to test my chizel. It worked really well. It both striped the bark with ease and carved really smooth and accurately.
At the end of the handle I marked with a pen where the wood needed to be removed to fit the head. I carved and then filed the oval to size.
I have spend about a day working on the handle so far. I have been sanding the wood to try and achieve a high polish.
I still have a little more work to do to get the hammer perfect. I need to make the connection at the top fit better and carve down the top of the shank a little to make it look more like it flows into the head. I am going to finish the handle by polishing it with Danish oil every day for the next week. Once I have done this I will attach to head permanently.
Last night I went to a great exhibition in The Lighthouse, Glasgow called Weather Forms. The exhibition was about architecture and weather. I was impressed by a lot of the show and it was a big space to fill.
I was particularly impressed and proud of Inness Yeoman’s input, he helped out with two big installations as well as hanging a huge wall of paintings. I have known Inness for his whole life. He has been working for architect Paul Stallan of Stallan-Brand helping to put the show together.
Inness hung this instillation as well as make some of the models to the left bottom of this photo.
Behind the hanging exhibition was a laser cut city map which I found quite interesting.
Instillation which Inness Yeoman also helped with as well as a huge wall of paintings he hung.
Had a great evening all in all, I also want to thank Angela Dickson for great shipping container chat and my essential PhD starter kit she gave me.
The plan that I came up with yesterday to leave the goblet alone to dry is so far working. It was still standing after four hours so I am keeping my fingers crossed that this approach will work.
I also managed to cast another pint tumbler today. I am starting to become really quick at these. They cast like a dream, are easy to take out of the mold and are also very quick to clean up as they only have two seams. The following image also shows the goblet I made on Monday which is also cracked at the stem.
This afternoon I got all my shot glasses from the bisque firing as well as one of the pint glasses. I glazed these with clear porcelain glaze. I plan to fire for a third time with the green glass I used for my test pieces. I dipped all the vessels into the glaze and then touched up where my finger prints were with a paint brush. Afterwards I removed the glaze from the underneath by rubbing them on a wet carpet.
Shot glasses after bisque firing.
Vessels after glazing and painting over finger prints.
Yesterday I sand cast my third kitchen cupboard handle. The strange part about sand casting is the pour. I find that quite often when I think pouring the metal has worked, it hasn’t and vice-versa. This time I thought it hadn’t worked, but when I took the mold apart I found that a small bit of sand had fallen from the sides into the bottom of the mold. This resulted in the handle having a large dint of missing metal in the back. Although this wouldn’t be seen I have decided to recast this to make one more perfect. I will be melting the metal to reuse for the next one.
I have been spending at least a few days a week over the last five weeks trying to get a run of goblets out. I have had about five complete fails where the goblets snap at the base of the stem. I have tried various ways of trying to get this to work from changing the timings of when I remove them from the mold as well as cleaning up the top of the goblet whilst in the mold. Today I had my second fail of the week which is starting to get a little frustrating. I have decided the next trick I am going to try is not cleaning up the outside at all, letting the clay dry and then trying to clean it up.
On the plus side I have managed to slip cast about five large glasses which have worked really well. I am really happy with the simplicity and ease that these are to clean up. The entire structure holds together really well and I have had no fails with these so far. I want to aim to make a set of eight with a few spare incase any break.