Friday, August 9, 2013

To Be Destroyed

I got a machinerette glass mold out of the kiln this morning, and I'm disappointed. I don't like the color scheme, and I don't like the sloppy bleed-over across the lines of the figures into the background.

Here's the original wax, and the glass.

So, it gets recycled. What lessons did I learn? I once came up with a maxim that went along the lines of "No series of subsequent steps will fix a fundamental fuck up".

You'd think I'd have that down by now, but no. When I steamed out the mold, I noticed that some of the investment had flaked off, resulting in a less than perfect mold. So, did I trash it and start over? No, I figured I could compensate for the flaw, and, like every time I compromise, I was wrong. So I now I trash it and start over.

Also, the color scheme is wrong. I don't know why I chose that wimpy soft blue. Clearly, these critters require a more Halloween look to them, or a sickly lime green/dayglo palette. This color scheme is much more satisfying, so perhaps I'll go more orangey-yellow, more like the first:

(I think this one gets chalked up to dumb luck)

So, lesson learned, break it up, and redo the thing. I do like the figures, so I will recreate them, and that doesn't take too much time.

Oh, and I'm going to see Eysium. Partly because it looks like a big, dumb, loud action movie, but mostly because brittle-minded conservative types hate it and want it to fail. I guess because it promotes the idea of universal health care, and as we all know healthcare is a privilege reserved for those that can afford it, not a right!

Wait! What? Then shouldn't right-wing jellyheads, a people who can barely keep from swallowing their tongues, be happy with the first part of the film, where rich people live in luxury, in space, get the best of everything, including a health care system that can cure death, and get to look down on the suffering good for nothing peasant moochers on a ruined welfare planet? It's not enough to dwell in Heaven, one must see the suffering in Hell! So, yeah! Great. Just walk out before the revolution, and it's a perfect movie.

The claim from conservatives is that the film maker's have a political agenda, borrowing heavily from the Occupy movement. Oh, I don't think so. Any decent fiction writer can use themes and tropes to spin a good yarn without believing a single bit of it.

I mean, as an artist, I can't afford to completely dismiss any alternative worldview.

Example: Thinking that a flat Earth is silly doesn't mean you can't set a story there. It gets kind of restrictive, straight-jacketed, if one is limited to one's own set of principles and firmly cherished beliefs. One's mind soon becomes so brittle, that Reality itself becomes deeply offensive and intolerable! You got to exercise the mind, right wing bitches, or watch it decay into stuporous teabaggery.

Alright, time to geek out. One objection I have (that I will overlook) is that the rich will live in space. Oh come on! Space is a shitty place to live. Let's repeat that everyone:

Space is a shitty place to live.

Let's do a little comparison shopping.You got Earth, with air, water, radiation shielding, renewable supplies and resources, aesthetically wonderful (because adapted for it) good experiences, good times.

And then you got anywhere else in the Solar System. Anywhere. Take your pick. I'll wait. I'll even let you build something, say, a two kilometer wide Stanford Torus space station. Best guess is, it will only cost you around 5 trillion to build.

Sound a bit too low end, to unrealistic, that 5 trillion? Yeah, you're right. If you are sending all components from Earth to orbit, at space shuttle rates, assuming everything works perfectly, 10 million tons at $5,000-$10,000 a pound gets you into the quadrillions. Better you use raw materials not at the bottom of a gravity well, like the asteroids and the Moon.

So, who is going to do all that? Seems to be, if I'm rich, I'd rather use the poor to slave in the Lunar iron pits, or robots. But the one thing I don't think I'm doing is living in space in a pinwheel that can be put out commission with meteor or solar storm.

So, woud that have been a better movie? Having the rich calling the Earth their exclusive preserve, and the poor out their slaving in vacuum and radiation, perhaps surgically and/or genetically mutilated to live in vacuum?   I don't know.

Postscript to the Failure: I decided to add a 3/16" edge to the bottom of the new figures. Normally, I just make a half relief and mount it on the background thus:

The added edge, when mounted on the background, this will give me in essence a hopper to put the glass for the figures in separate from the background glass, and thus hopefully give me a crisper edge on the figures. Don't know if you can see the edge added to the bottom. On the figure to the right, you can see I haven't filled in the edge completely on the tail.
The figure now has a 3/16" edge all along the bottom. I don't know if you can see it in the picture. When I mount it on the hexagonal array background, it may make more sense.

Work in progress:


  1. You don't need that extra 3/16" and it won't necessarily solve your problem. It's technique. When you pack your frit in the mold use a tool to push the frit in til you can see the edge of your negative space. I try to build up as high as the negative space is deep in open face molds. You know to use a wet paintbrush to pick up stray pieces of frit and powder, right? What are you using for a binder?

    1. Don't use any binder. I pack it in dry.

  2. Then there's your problem. The dry frit won't stay in place. Use water at least, pack it in wet and tamp it down packing it tightly together to help it stay in place. Your mold will need to be wet too, not drippy but moist. Otherwise when you put in the wet frit, the mold will wick away the water and the next amount you add will tend to pick up the dry frit instead of it all clumping together.

    1. I'm sorry for whining. I try not to do it often. Ready? Awwwh, but dry is so much easier....

      Okay.okay, okay. You're right, you're right, you're right. Godamnit. Okay, I'll do it.

    2. I never did it. Wet packing. Probly should.