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


This week has passed in a flash, partly organising things for next week’s Paris trip to visit Axiatec, partly making some more test pieces and finishing off things from a fortnight ago.

To prepare for next week I spoke to Anthony, one of the College glass technicians about the principles of casting. Axiatec offer a service where glass moulds for casting and blowing into can be rapid prototyped. Anthony is intrigued about the material and whether cork or graphite surfaces are applied as in the conventional moulds. I hope to not only find out but also hope to be able to produce a mould to use at College.
Alastair from RapidformRCA talked me through the Z Corp machine, it’s relatively simple technology, certainly compared to the laser sintering machines. He is coming along on the trip to talk to Axiatec about licensing their technology for us at College. I’m sure he’ll be able to help with adapting designs for use with the Z Corp technology.

A light wire evaluation kit was waiting for me at College on Tuesday. I had ordered 6 different samples of light wire, different colours and grades to test in my pieces. As the name suggests it is a wire that glows along its full length, emitting a neon type glow. Until I see it in place I’m not sure if it will look a little gimmicky, so I designed a piece where the wire will be hidden at the edge of the internal base, hopefully emitting a coloured glow across the black metallic glaze.

I also made a couple of pieces that I could insert Perspex secret sign into to form an illuminated base. It’s a satin black material that turns clear when light is shone through. White light looks white, coloured light coloured. Again, I must justify its use in terms of the project but think it could have a place and later have a commercial application.

The Ceramics and Glass department had an outing to see the First Emperor exhibition at the British Museum. First there was a lecture describing his life and the way he unified China. We also heard details of how the exhibition had been arranged and designed to make use of the Reading Room in the Great Court without affecting its listed interior. My youngest daughter, Grace took advantage of a spare ticket, arriving just in time to see the exhibition. I think she enjoyed it but was slightly distracted by the thought of a trip to Claridges to see Elle McPherson launch her new lingerie collection! Quite a contrast, but that’s Grace.

Our research cluster seminar room meetings haven’t been very successful so far. This year the new students aren’t in as regularly as we were last year, Heike is in the US and Emmanuel has gone part time. Maybe we need a guest from outside the cluster to talk about their research. Or maybe we have to wait until one of the group has something specific to discuss.