Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Assessment time...


It's been a busy time during this project, I've made a visits to Interiors UK and the Surface & Design Show. Both were interesting events, if only for the new designers and lecture tents!

So, 1, 10, 1000, what's been happening? Well, mould-making has been a key part to this project, and an exploration of form....

I began by looking to secondhand figurines and through a concept of wrapping, started to bind them with layers of videotape. I chose this material, as I did the figurines, for their throwaway and secondhand nature. With a mind on sustainable practice and the choice of material for production, I was considering all that was readily available to me.

Continuing with the idea of throwaway, I used plastic bags to inform the shapes and masters of my moulds. It was with these that I developed plaster casts and samples, and made a number of good and bad mistakes!

The casting of plaster in the bags gave a whole new dimension to the shapes both inside and out. This has given me some ideas for my next project, more on that later though... 

So, after a process of casting and editing, I found my masters and went to work on a 4-part plaster mould for slip casting. My first attempt was disasterous, one big block of plaster with a plastic bag stuck inside of it - eeek!? Second attempt, with some technical help was much more successful and I was on my way to creating my 'batch'.

mould and master
4 part split mould, master and sponge(!)
slipcasts of varying thickness
slipcasts with black slip, inside and out for contrast
I am pleased with the outcome of my slip-casts in terms of form; however feel that with more time I would have liked to have developed a range of glazes. These would enhance their overall appearance and potentially open up a new dialogue in which to explore. 

In addition to the slipcast moulds I have made some silicone with jacket moulds that I intend to use for lost wax casting in glass. 

I have found this project a 'frustrating-at-times-but-overall-enjoyable' one. I feel that my mould-making skills have improved, or my understanding of them has at least, and I look forward to seeing the influence that it will have on my future work. 

In terms of the next project, I see this one as an active spring board for it. We begin a 12 week self-explorative project as of Monday and I note the process of castingformingchangingaltering and dismantling as key informants of my current thinking. I am mindful of the idea of a casting photocopier whereby each time a form is cast, then remodelled to cast again in can change and alter its shape until it becomes 10 times removed from its initial form. This process excites me and has real scope for material development and exploration. I hope to keep a bit more on top of my updates next project a perhaps commit to a few less things. 

Space set up for assessment showcasing (clockwise from top left);
plaster models, silicone with jacket moulds, wax casts,
4 part plaster mould, slip casts, dipped slip experiment with upholstery foam,
vacuum formed open mould from 1st failed silicone mould