Ceramic Ware- Update

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.

 

Slip Casting the Tumbler

I have started to make the mold for the tumbler.  This was much simpler than the goblet design as it had much less undercuts within it.  The tumbler mold will only have to be in three parts as apposed to the five parts needed for the goblet.

Building the first side wall

 Building and clamping the wood walls and sealing sides with clay

  The first pour.
  The first mold taken apart.

  Cleaning up the first mold and adding the key holes.

 
 Building the wood walls and sealing for the second pour.

Goblet slip cast mold

I have spent two days this week preparing the slip cast mild for my goblet.  Because of the undercuts in the piece I had to make a mold with five sections so that I will be able to remove the piece after casting.

  First I marked out on the print where I would build the walls out to make the mold.  Or essentials where the seems would be.  After marking out two sections it quickly became clear that 3 walls were needed in order to get the piece out of the mould.

 
  I covered two thirds of the piece in clay leaving just the third visible that would be cast first.

 

  I then smoothed out the clay walls.
  I clamped wooden walls around the piece, filled any holes with clay and poured in plaster.

 

  Once dry I took apart the mold and cleaned up the plaster a little.  The I drilled in a half dome so that the next part of the mold would lock in.
  I washed the plaster three times with soft soap.  This was wiped off with a sponge and would keep the next plaster pour from sticking.
  I then built the second wall and built up the wooden boards.

 

 This was the result of the second pour after removing the walls and clay.
  The process was repeated a third time to create the third wall.

 

 This is the three walls completed and the process took about seven hours to get to this stage.
  The top of the mold was then planed back.

 Lock holes were drilled into the three walls at the top.
  I then built walls around the mold and sealed for the pour.

 

  This process was repeated for the bottom.
  The five parts were then planed into one nice block.

  This is the final reveal as I took out the 3D print.
 The mould has now been placed in the drying cupboard and will be ready to use hopefully in three days time.

Whisky glass pressing

Today I have been trying out the press mold for my whisky glasses.  The first few I did were a little floored but the more I made the better they became.  My 3D printed chizel was perfect for cutting off the excess clay from the top of the mold.  I was keen to see the effect of using molds printed on different machines.  The mold from the ultimaker gave a much smoother finish to the pieces.  I like the effect of the two contrasting textures.

 Close up showing both textures in the clay.
 Selection I have made so far.
Some of the vessels came out with areas that were not smooth.  I found placing the clay back into the molds and pressing them again sorted out this problem.

Mold before use.


Clay pressed into the mold.


Clay cut with 3D printed chisel.

To speed up the drying process I used my hair dryer.  This worked well for the clay but warped the outside of the orange mold slightly with the heat.  The inside seems to not have been effected which is good.


Clay smoothed down and drying  also showing warped mold.

Shot Glass Press molds

After spending Saturday and Sunday trying to print out the press mold from my M3D micro I have been left with a pile of nice white and orange spaghetti resembling parts of my mold.  I managed to get one half of the mold printed ok.  This is in orange PLA.  This morning David at the City of Glasgow College kindly printed the second half for me in a bright red PLA from the College ultimaker machine.  The ultimaker gave a much smoother finish than the M3D.  I will try the two parts with clay but may need to get both printed on the same machine.

Failed M3D print on lowest quality setting.

  Print from the ultimaker machine.

I did manage to get a few samples from the half build press molds over the weekend.  I placed the join of the molds where the join of the triangles meet in the piece so that the final piece is less messy to look at by eye.  I used my 3D printed Chizel to take the excess clay off the mold.

 


A few of the first pieces I tried were quite difficult to get out of the molds when wet.  I tried spraying the mold with wD40 before hand and then drying the clay a little with my hairdryer before removing.  This made the process much easier.


I am happy with the form of the pieces.  I think maybe I should try accentuating the overhangs in some places where they might be a little subtle or lost compared to other sections.

Whisky Vessels

After spending a few weeks playing with porcelain and designing the ceramic bedroom light it has given me some ideas for making drinking vessels for my container.  I have been coming up with some designs in my sketchbook along the same lines as the base of the bedroom light I have designed.


Through these pieces I would really like to be able to show the mixture and contrast between the handmade and the use of CAD.  What I really enjoy about this with clay is the way in which clay is naturally so organic and malleable by hand.  It makes the process easy to both impress on and use CAD but also has a warm hand made finish or feeling.

The glasses will be pressed into CAD molds and hand finished on the inside.  I would really like to use a simple white cracked glaze on the outside and a more metallic glaze splash of colour on the inside.

shotglass5Render of shot glass designs.

Last night I came home from work excitedly with plans to print a small shot glass and make them over the weekend.  As I went to bed last night I set my printer up to print the mold through the night.  I woke up at 4am to a strange buzzing noise.  As I got out of bed I found a big pile of white spaghetti in my printer.  The print was due to take 7 hours, so I collaborated the printer set up the print again and went back to bed.

 My overnight print fails.

The same thing happened at 8am and again at 10am.  I have cut down the mold size a little to make the build 5 hours and put on to build again.  Fingers crossed this one is going to work so I can make some shot glasses later.