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

21.12.07 - Still juggling!

I returned to college on Monday this week as Michel from the French company was arriving at 8.00am on Tuesday morning. He came over to bring some equipment and materials and to demonstrate the infiltration process.
Alastair had completed a second tureen base, so I now had one set, plus a tureen with thin handles. The equipment was set up in the cold glass workshop, first experimenting on some test pieces of tureen. By the end of the day all was infiltrated, cured with the UV lamp and dried in the oven, or so I thought.
I carefully packed the two pieces and took them to Paris by Eurostar the following day. When Michel inspected the pieces he thought that they should have been cured and dried in the oven for longer. There were tell-tale blotchy patches which show the uneven curing. Michel had made a second lid for me, so in theory I have two tureens.
The day in Paris was spent making some tests for the black ceramic topcoat. Michel also proposed to make another tureen on their Z Corp machine using 131 powder as it is stronger than the 130 that College uses. It was decided to produce it in black to make the application of the topcoat far easier.
The following day I brought the test samples into College and compared them to a Wedgwood artists proof of an Eduardo Paolozzi Newton sculpture that is in the office. Surprisingly the colour that I thought would be the closest was far too dark, an iron oxide stain being far closer. I photographed the samples against the sculpture and emailed them to Gilles who planned to make up the colour in the lab and send me the results over Christmas.
The next stage will be to return to Paris to collect the pieces some time in January.

Meanwhile, I also had to think about the main project - the M.Phil. Whilst I was in Paris the slip from Ideal Standard arrived, so on Thursday I set up a frame on which to place the mould for casting. The mould is large and heavy, heavier still when full of slip, so I need to be able to turn it over for emptying without the need to lift. The system works well, but the first cast imploded as part of the cast stuck to the mould when I was separating the two halves. The first cast is normally scrapped as it cleans the surface of the mould, for the second cast on Friday I decide to cast the piece slightly thinner, leave it in the mould to dry for longer and to lift off the other side of the mould which may be less likely to stick. As I write this the cast is still in the mould.

It's now 3.00 pm and the cast has been successfully removed from the mould. It looks OK and I'm optimistic about taking further casts as they should come out more easily.

Happy Christmas.