Tuesday, April 7, 2009

gourd bowls

I have finished casting the gourd bowls I brought back from French Guiana. They turned out just as satisfying as I wanted them to be. Here is the process:

The original gourds are placed upside down, waiting to be cast in plaster. I secured them down with plasticine, so they don't float away when the plaster is poured on top.

After the mold is made, click here for mold-making, porcelain slip is poured into the mold. I like my pieces to be light and don't allow the sides to get too thick.

After the excess slip is poured out, the bowls are left to dry.

Once the bowls pop off the sides of the mold, I clean up the edges to be delicate and thin.

The above pieces are in their "green" stage, dry and very fragile. To get them ready for glazing, I will bisque fire them. During the bisque stage, the porcelain is still very porous. This allows for absorption of water in the glaze, making the glaze stick to the sides. During the glaze fire, the porcelain and glaze will vitrify, become glass-like and impervious. How much fun is that?