The Hand and the Glove... ramblings about making.

Week ending 27.04.07

2nd session at CIA, in the afternoon had a demo of SolidWorks 3D modelling software. Pretty refined in comparison to Rhino, but costs a lot more.

Back to the RCA and started to prepare the fired cone pieces for Thursday’s tutorial. The firing cracks were filled with Plastic Padding, sanded smooth then taken upstairs to be sprayed with cellulose paint. The finish is not bad, 2 are a satin white and one is black.

I had forgotten that I had signed up for a FuelRCA presentation skills day focusing on ‘meeting the client’. The day was of limited use as we were guinea pigs; generally I think my day could have been better spent. The mind map exercise was the most valuable as my partner thought that ‘research’ is the core of my practice, not ‘ceramics’ as it seemed to initially suggest. This has a bearing on how I prepare for my post-RCA life.
After this I continued to finish my cone pieces then assembled the LED’s & installed them successfully in one of the cones. They illuminate the piece with a blue glowing light, no colour or intensity changes as yet.

The tutorial with Martin was very productive. I showed him the cone pieces; they are less successful than the cone 05 test piece in terms of the illusion created. However, they have served their purpose in demonstrating that LED lighting is worth pursuing, but mostly that throwing and assembly is definitely not a suitable technique for these pieces. The chance of cracking is high, grogged clay is difficult to smooth and though my throwing skills are pretty good it’s still difficult to produce a cone with a perfectly straight profile. Martin brought up the choice of making technique and exploration of alternative materials. It was decided that a model should be made that could be used to produce a mould for press moulding and for vacuum forming. This is exactly what I was hoping to hear as I have questioned the need for this work to be made of clay. I wish to remove all traces of the hand and any connotations with studio ceramics.
I also showed Martin the new website, which he thinks will make a valuable contribution to the interim examination coming up in May.
After the tutorial Martin, Alison and I discussed the last two research applications, one was rejected, one accepted, which should be interesting as his project is almost a glass version of mine. It looks like the ‘research cluster’ is going to increase to 7.

Bit of a frustrating day as I hoped to start on making the rest of the moulds for the cube glass cast first thing in the morning, but couldn’t find any clay! It brings it home that I must prepare in advance, it’s not like the workshop at home where everything is under my control. I did complete one more, but had hoped to make the remaining three.
I popped upstairs to the Darwin workshops to learn about vacuum forming where the French technician Fred was pretty negative. I need to find others to ask, maybe visit a specialist company.
Stephan came to give me some advice about producing a model for press moulding; it should be straightforward but will need to be planned carefully. I continued to produce a Rhino model that can be used then went to see Martin Watmough in RapidForm to talk about Rapid prototyping a model. He thinks it will be possible on the ZCorp machine, but is likely to cost over £200. I’m meeting Nick Grace up there on Wednesday to discuss the details. The advantage is that the model would be absolutely accurate and could be used to produce a model for vacuum forming. Martin also told me about a powerful new laser cutter that’s been installed recently. Apparently it’s capable of cutting much heavier duty material, so I will need to check it out to find whether I can use it to produce a strong accurate model.