Glass Hammer

So after casting for two days on top of 36 degree heat and a few palinkas  I decided it would be a good idea to try and make a glass hammer.  I thought the Irony was quite funny and after sitting around the campfire with more palinka the Hungarians also thought it was a good idea.

So the next day bright and early I got up and went to see Laci bácsi’s son Peter Borkovics who is an amazing glass designer.He helped me put together two molds to cast the glass hammers in.


Firstly, we made a clay mold around half of the hammer and smoothed it off.We then mixed a composite of plaster and sand with water.


This was then spooned onto the top of the hammer making sure not to spill it over the edges.This was left to dry for twenty minutes before we turned it over.


We soft soaped the surface and then added the same sand/plaster mixture to the other side.Because this side of the mold needed to be flat Peter pushed on a piece of glass before it had dried.

We made two of these molds and they were left to dry over night.
The following day Peter put the molds in the kiln for 24 hours.  Unfortunately the temperature was too low and he repeated the process the next day.

The following day he took the kilns up to 2000 degrees.  This was a little too high and the glass melted through the mold.

Although the process didn’t work, Peter has kept the good mold and is going to post me the hammer when he has made one that has worked.  I can’t wait to see the results.

Raising Hammer

I put together the raising hammer mold in exactly the same way as the sea horse mold.I found that at the casting stage of this I had problems.


I think I had placed the hammer too far down and as it was a little larger than the previous hammer, I needed an air hole in there.


I rebuilt the mold in the afternoon, placing the hammer closer to the top of the mold and with two air holes in to draw out the metal.

 

Later in the evening we went for a second pour.

This time the piece worked really well an I was ready to clean up both my claw hammer and raising hammer.

Seahorse Hammer

So right now I am in Mátranovák, Hungary.  I have spent the last few days sand casting hammers in brass.  The first one I tried was the seahorse claw hammer.

I made the sand casting mold in the usual way.  First I compacted the sand into the bottom part of the mold.  After scraping the sand flat I roughly carved out a space for the 3D printed hammer.

I compacted the sand flat around the centre line of the print and then coated in talc.

  

I added the top part of the mold and compacted the sand with a mallet.  After reaching over the top line I scraped back the top so it was flat.

I then opened the mold and took out the 3D printed plastic hammer and the tube I used for the pour hole.

I placed the mold back together and clamped the edges.

I then took the mold to the local blacksmith Laci bácsi, who helped me cast the piece in Brass.

He first smashed up lots of pieces of coal into small pieces for the furnace.

He then lit the furnace with some small pieces of wood and then added the coal.

  
The mold was left close to the furnace to heat a little and was turned after ten minutes to heat the other side.

  
The metal was left to heat for around 20 minutes before it was liquid enough to pour.​

​After around five minutes after the pour the metal was solid enough to open the mold.

  

Laci bácsi and myself were both very happy with the result.

  

The hammer was quenched in water and I am now left with the task of finishing off the piece.

  
  
 

Algorithms

For the last week I have been trying to get my head around design algorithms.  I always thought the products from the effects are great and that the endless design opportunities are really exciting. 

For the last thirteen years of using rhino I have always worked in a design led way.  I nearly always begin with a sketchbook and pen.  I decided I wanted to make at least one piece for my shipping container house whereby I have an initial idea and let the computer work out the details of the design.   After spending a few weeks making a cushion cover for my jewellery making stool I decided to recreate the current stool design I have using CAD.  I am currently using a Pakistani rushty stool which I love for size weight and use.  I am planning on taking this basic shape and running algorithms on it to determine my final stool design for the shipping container house.  This is all quite easy to write however I have soon came to realise that this is going to take a little more time to get to grips with than I had originally thought.

 

I began the week looking at software called Dreamcatcher by Autodesk.  I have seen many articles on the internet of how this program has been developed to be able to let a designer run variations on their model to come up with the best design solution.

https://autodeskresearch.com/projects/dreamcatcher

 I really wanted to use this software to develop my idea however after talking to Autodesk the software is not yet available.

I then decided to check out Grasshopper which is a plug in for Rhino.  This is where my mind was blown and I became stuck in the computer for the last five days.  I thought I knew most things about Rhino until I downloaded Grasshopper!  I have discovered that I need to learn an entirely different language.  I would compare Grasshopper to designing through being a virtual electrician.  The commands are very similar to Rhino, however they are wired together in an order almost like coding.  The program allows you to change a design multiple times without rebuilding it every time as you would have to do n Rhino.

After day 3 of teaching myself from youtube video’s I hadn’t got very far in terms of designs, however I had seen a change in my way of thinking and the coding began making more sense. rhinoshot2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhg5WAV0lss

 

By the end of the week I have managed to get a little further, however I definitely need more practice and my design is still not what I am looking for!stool2