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

05.10.07- Realising the virtual

I was determined to ‘hit the ground running’ this week and am pleased to say that I managed to achieve virtually all that I set out to do.
I have spent time thinking about what I can realistically complete in the time available knowing that practical work takes longer than it would in the studio at home, partly because I am exploring new ways of working & I often need advice, sometimes from outside the ceramics & glass department.
I decided to concentrate on the cone and the torus, both of which are one-sided surfaces and are essentially the same form, the cone an angular version of the torus.
So the week started with a throwing session, attempting to create a larger torus than previously. By the end of the week 4 toruses were thrown and turned and two glaze tests had come out, one of which- the metallic black glaze that I’ve used at home, was particularly successful.
One of my aims for this week was to arrange for a torus spiral piece to be rapid prototyped and for a torus model to be CNC milled.

Unfortunately, the RP piece partly failed at the top edge, however it was still very exciting to see the piece with its supports still attached in the SLA machine.
I had hoped to CNC a 560mm diameter model from which to take a mould, but the material it will be made from is incredibly expensive- a 500X100X2000mm. sheet costs £250! I managed to get hold of an offcut that brought the cost down. It’s a dense material that should produce a fine surface without much extra sanding. Due to the sheet size I have had to scale down the model to 480mm. 560mm may have been too ambitious as the mould may have been unmanageable for slipcasting.

Martin Watmough from RapidformRCA gave me details of a French company who are producing a ceramic coating for models produced on the Z-Corp machine and a fast way of producing glass moulds for blowing or casting pieces. I contacted the Managing director who invited me to visit their laboratory in Paris. Martin Watmough is really keen for me to go with ‘Big Al’, one of the RapidformRCA technicians and will part fund a trip. I have to find additional funding so spoke to Tom in the Research office who was encouraging. I’m waiting for confirmation, but hope to go in November.

During the week I had an informal meeting with Martin Smith to discuss what I had done over the summer and my plans for the forthcoming term. He appeared positive and made some practical suggestions. We have arranged a time for a formal tutorial at which all my practical work and writing will be discussed.