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

15.02.08 - Frankfurt

The past two weeks have passed very quickly, partly because I didn’t have my usual weekend at home but spent it in Frankfurt.
The week leading up to the trip is now a bit of a blur- what comes to mind are casting, glaze tests, writing and trying to organise the rapid prototyping of the glass blowing mould.
Friday morning soon came around and I made my way to Heathrow to meet Kathryn Hearn and her students from Central St. Martins. They organise a trip to Ambiente, the ceramics, glass and product design show each year. I thought I would join them to gain an idea of what is happening in Industrial ceramic design and to make contact with potential partners for the research fellowship.
The show is held at the enormous Messe, there are 9 or 10 halls, many of which have 5 floors! There are buses to take the thousands of visitors from one end to the other.
Over the 4 days of the show, I made contact with a number of firms, both glass and ceramic and have since followed up with emails giving some more information about the materials and technology I hope to work with next year.
Frankfurt is a pleasant enough place, the river running through the centre adds a bit of character to what I perceive may be a fairly boring financial centre, with an ever changing population of Messe visitors.
By Tuesday I was certainly ready to return to College and rest my aching feet.
The rest of the week went well, all practical stuff, including some hopeful glaze tests. The mirror black glaze is proving to be unreliable, with blisters appearing randomly. I had biscuit fired some fireclay casting slip, test pieces to 1080 and 1200 that were then glazed with the 2 black glazes and fired to 1140. The results are surprisingly good, considering the glaze has been taken 60 degrees higher than it is designed to go. I then re-fired 2 pieces that had been badly blistered, one of which needed some extra glaze and they came out better, but not perfect. I’ll try taking the temperature up a bit more. One of the glazes has an attractive speckle, which I need to remove if possible, so that was balled milled for a few hours today, whilst I went on a semi-useful photography course.
During the week I was invited to Limoges for a demonstration of treating and preparing the RP glass blowing mould for use. I would like to attend, but am worried about the amount of writing and making that still needs to be done.