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.
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.
This week I have been working on making the slip cast mold for my bowl. The bowl is a 3 part mold as I wanted to keep the linear details left over from the 3D print in the mold.
I had a small disaster, when I giggled the mold to get the air bubbles out the plaster I hadn’t used enough clay to seal the mold and I had a bit of a leak ok the floor. Luckily I managed to plug it up pretty quick with clay from the outside and I had enough plaster left to fill the mold back up top level.
I used a round piece of wood to create a reservoir above the bowl. This will make the walls all be equal and will make cutting the clay out the mold easier after.
I am really happy with the finished mold and I have left it to dry for a week. I feel I am getting much neater and more confident at making molds and I really hope it works next week.
I finally got my shot glasses back from their third and final firing. Again they are a little smaller than I had hoped . Some are more useable than others but I have enough for a collection. I am really happy with the finish on the glaze with the final green added. It gives the pieces individuality and makes then feel more organic.
I am also really happy with the way the detailing from the rough print has came out in contrast to the smoother mold printed.
Over the last few weeks I have been having problems with the goblets bending at the stem and touching other items in the kiln. Although I gave a few of them a knock and they came apart they are imperfect and I plan to redesign the whole thing.
The pint tumblers are working out great. I have a perfect set of four now and a few more in the process of making.
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.
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.
This week I embarked on a run of making all my shot glasses. The reason it took me so long to get to this point is that I have been testing lots of different sizes and glazes. The mold for this differs from the one I used from the samples as I printed on half on its side which added a different and more defined texture to the of the piece.
The only tools I used to make these were the press mold and a sponge to clean off the edges. I have now taken them to get fired and will glaze later next week.
Yesterday, alongside the goblet I also managed to slip cast my first tumbler using the three part mold I made last week. This mold worked perfectly and the final piece was much easier to release from the mold and clean up than the goblet. It was all over more structurally sound and I was very happy with the finished product. I have now left it to dry before bisque firing.
The two molds cast and waiting to dry for 15 minutes.
Cutting off the top edge with a potters knife.
With this piece I smoothed down all the inner and top edges with a sponge before taking it out of the mold. This kept the all over strength of the piece. I will be taking this approach with the run of all my final pieces.
This is the piece straight out of the mold with the messy seams.
This is the final result after cleaning with a sponge.
There was some discussion about how thin the tumbler is. I will be able to review this after firing.
Today I was able to take my first goblet finished sample finished with a tin glaze Out the kiln. I was very happy to see it standing, despite cracking at the base of the stem several times. I was fairly happy with the finish however parts of the glaze hadn’t stuck because I should have stirred it a little longer. I will sample more before choosing my final finish.
I also managed to get my 3rd goblet out of the mold today. I cut this to the edges at the top to the edge of the glass as apposed to round in my first sample.
So that the stem didn’t break I cleaned up most of the vessel whilst it was in partial parts of the mold to support it. This approach worked very effectively. The stem only wobbled slightly when I was putting the finishing touches to the piece.
I finished of cleaning up this piece with a wet sponge which made this piece far neater than my previous two samples. I feel that I am now heading towards the quality I am aiming for in my final pieces.
Today I finished off making my tumbler slip cast mold. I started my filing down the two parts I had made last week. I keyed in 3 lock holes and the cleaned and soft soaped the top surface. Instead of drilling into the top section after casting as I had done with the previous mold, I built a clay cone on top.
I then clamped around the wooden walls and sealed the edges with clay.
After drying, I took off the wooden walls and then filed the sides down and scraped with a kidney.
I am very pleased with the accuracy of this mold. It has worked much better than the goblet mold as it was far less complicated to make. I have left the mold to dry for three days before I will try using it for slip casting.