Friday, June 21, 2013

New Cast Glass

Fresh out of the kiln. I kept notes. Here's the final shot first:

Fresh out of the kiln. I am not entirely displeased with Mutant Gypsy Vacuum Cleaner. The gradation of color is a little ham-handed, and I didn't quite stay within the lines in the transition between figure and background. It is what it is, and I'll not modify my techniques too much. I could cast the mechanicules separately and then embed them in a new casting, but I'm sticking with the plan.

The glass is all from Bullseye Glass Company. Ready? I kept notes.  Background color, which I dig, is a layer of True Blue coarse frit, backed by transparent frit, about 50/50 by volume. Figures were backed with transparent frit to avoid color changes.

Figures were Canary Yellow, Orange, Red powder, backed by medium grade Red frit.

The investment mix was 2 parts 325 mesh silica flour to 1 part #1 potter's plaster by weight, and 2 parts dry mix powder to 1 part water by weight.

Firing schedule was:

  • 150F/hr to 400F, hold for 48 hours
  • 50F/hr to 950F
  • 100F/hr to 1550, hold for 6 hours
  • AFAP to 1260, hold for 2hrs
  • 150F/hr to 900F, hold for 12 hours
  • 3F/hr to 800F
  • 5F/hr to 700F
  • 18F/hr to 100F

Explanation: The investment mix ratios and firing schedule are what work for me. I have consistently had good results with this. The mix is a little dense and soft compared to most, but it is simple and easy to remember, and works for me. The firing schedule (aside from the back end which was for a 3" thick casting using Bullseye annealing schedule, The reason I used the 3" thick schedule, even though the glass was 2" thick maximum was because the thickness was not uniform (background glass in about 3/4" thick). is slow compared to most, but I rarely get cracks in the mold, and so it works for me. This time out, I was very surprised to find a crack. Judging from the flashing, it must have happened on the down ramp after the casting soak. Eh, so what.

See the crack?

Decanted from mold, not cleaned up yet.

Investment scrubbed off before bead blasting

Backlit glass
I'm going to put it into a frame later, and perhaps put a mirror behind the glass for a partial backlighting.

I've also finished rigging up some more machinerettes for bronze casting in a coffee can mold (same investment material as the glass):

So, the funny thing is, the sense of urgency I've felt about getting all this stuff done by the end of August is now compounded by the fact that I have a little health problem. Turns out that pulled muscle in my lower back was not a pulled muscle, but an obstruction in the ureter of my left kidney. There's a cyst impacting it, which caused the kidney to swell up with urine to the size of a grapefruit or something. And then, Tuesday morning, in some of the worst belly pain I've ever had, to the point of nausea and puking, I drove myself to the emergency room. After an MRI, it was determined that my left kidney had basically exploded and sent a gush of urine into the abdominal cavity, thus causing the belly pain. So, I'm operating on one kidney, and I'm scheduled for outpatient surgery next Tuesday with a urologist. He will probably put a stent in my ureter. Worst case involves removing the kidney, and I will definitely be wanting a second opinion on that shit.

In the meantime, I'm on Vicodin and tylenol and seem to be handling it OK. We'll see. So, I'm trying to get as much shit done as I can before Tuesday morning.


  1. dayyum dude..., these mechanicules now evoke long ignored/suppressed organ meats crying out in increasing spirals of despair until finally one goes pfffft!!! and backfires.

    weird notion you think?

    well, old Ouspensky has a chepter in his book New Model of the Universe dedicated to tripping in early 19th century Russia. It's called "Experimental Mysticism". One of the phenomena he documents is the consciousness of bodily organs and how under the influence of a powerful entheogen it's possible to understand the consciousness of an organ, because it's consciousness is all subjective and all has exclusively to do with a broadcast of its wants and needs.

    How an entheogenic science of medicine could be predicated upon the objective capacity to discern and translate organ consciousness, but that such as they are, and such as we are, this can only be done in powerfully altered states.

    These mechanicules am the result of that long-suffering and finally failing kidney try'na tell you something...,

    1. The Universe practically oozes irony. And wouldn't you know that the most-used plaster mold is that kidney mold.

  2. holy shit John. or maybe that's holy piss John. so will your kidney heal itself? no no, that's the liver. you'd think something like a kidney getting ready to explode would have greater warning. anyway, hope it all goes well for you. and btw, that's the same plaster mold formula we use.

  3. The Universe practically oozes irony

    rotflmbao..., you need to be shot with hot pee for that.

    Ooops, my bad, you already experienced a hot pee depth-charge mid-fuselage.

    And wouldn't you know that the most-used plaster mold is that kidney mold.

    Not until you said so.

    But I recall some kidney beanicules..., at the risk of being exiled as a liminalist loon - make sure you say a little prayer of thanks that you weren't compulsively crafting little brain or cardiac shaped forms and stoically suffering headaches or palpitations....,