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

17.08.07-throwing the torus

Last week was spent writing about the making process and throwing some torus forms based on the model I had designed on Rhino. Like all attempts to develop new work there is a need to adapt skills and improve techniques. I was keen to reproduce the Rhino design as accurately as possible, the first attempts [torus 01-08] were thrown the ‘right way up’, but I found it was very difficult to create a shallow, open bowl form. Throwing the form ‘upside down’ meant that I had gravity assisting me, particularly useful in forming the outside wall. Much more control was possible and the resulting toruses [09 and 10] are quite pleasing. However, the cross section is not an accurate reproduction of the Rhino design. I am looking forward to producing the Rhino model by CNC milling, to be used as a mould for slipcasting or pressmoulding the piece. It will be interesting to compare the results of the two methods. Which will prove to be the most successful, what are the criteria I will use to make a comparison?

The torus has been chosen because it is a one-sided surface; it doesn’t have a separate interior and exterior, but can be produced to challenge the habitual understanding of the container. Does it matter that my thrown toruses are not a true reproduction of the one designed to carefully proportioned dimensions on Rhino? With nothing to compare my thrown pieces to, I cannot answer that question. I will have to wait until I return to College to find the answers.

Along with my last clay order I bought a gallon of bone china casting slip. To test it I used an old tealight mould, which is basically a torus with a base, on which the tealight sits. They were fired to 1000, sanded smooth, then fired to 1260 after which they were sanded with wet & dry paper. They have come out successfully with very little distortion, a beautiful sheen and are translucent when held up to the light. I think there would be the potential to evolve the design to one where the tealight is positioned to shine through the bone china.

Between house renovations, visiting Kielder Forest and having visitors I have continued my attempts to throw a Ø45cm torus in white earthenware. I am now up to my sixth try with only one saved for turning. As I said above, learning to make a new form takes time, and eventually I will succeed to produce one of the right size, but I’m sure the cross-section won’t be as accurate as I would like, and for me that is essential.