Saturday, March 12, 2011

new studio

The best part about my new studio is that now everything is in its place. I have room to do all the different parts of the casting process. The process starts by making the original piece, either thrown on the wheel, or carved out of plaster or wood. Sometimes I will make molds from found objects, like the gourd bowls. I make the molds from plaster, two to three of each original shape. Each mold takes a few hours to set up, and a few days to dry.

Then I mix the slip, liquid porcelain, my own formula. I pour the slip into the molds. The pieces pop out, I finish each edge with a sponge by going around and around the rim. The pieces dry and go into the bisque firing. Then they get glazed. If the color is different from inside to out, the inside is glazed first, then dried, then glazed on the outside, and dried again. The glaze fire takes 36 hours, counting the cool-down time.

After the glaze firing, the image transfer is applied, and the piece is fired one more time. This firing takes about 30 hours.

My new studio allows me to move between all the different phases with ease, not having to pack one up to allow for the other. I breathe easier here.