Crochet and Ceramics

Over the weekend I got into my crochet again in a big way.  I first started by making round cushion covers.  After making a few and realising I was going wrong somewhere they started to turn into bowl shapes.  This then gave me the idea to slip cast them to see if I could create functional bowls with them.


Yesterday I tried slip casting them in Porcelain.  I made one with para chord which I think won’t work as the slip isn’t sinking in.  I made a small flowery sample out of wool which seemed to work well.  The other two bowls I made from felt.  these are somewhere in between and I am not sure if they are going to work.  I plan to dip them in slip again today and if the samples work I plan to make a bigger bowl and maybe a colander in this way.

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Ceramic Update

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.

  
 

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.

 

Happy Ceramic Day…. So Far!

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.

Whisky Glasses

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. 

 

Slip Casting the Tumbler

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.

First Goblet Sample

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.

Tumbler Slip Cast Mold

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.

  

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.

Rat Brain Cell Colander

I have decided that as a little tongue and cheek I will add a rat handle to my rat brain cell colander.  When I thought about it last week I had a giggle to myself about having a rat hanging on my wall and watching me whilst cooking my pasta in my shipping container.  The rats tail doubles back to allow it to be hung from the wall.  I have spent a few days modelling this and I still need to finish off the bowl and think about how I am going to attach the rat handle to the bowl.  I want to try and stay away from using artificial chemical bonding (aka glue), I may add in holes that I can try and plastic weld the two together with my 3D doodle pen.  My other idea is to try and make a clip out of the handle that the hands will attach to.

rat3