Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Wax On, Wax Off

Harper Small Works had their reception last week, and the juror, Allison Peters Quinn of the Hyde Park Art Center, gave a really splendid talk about being a curator. So much so, that I was briefly enthused about actually curating a show. I mean, it's one thing to be a musician, and quite another to be the conductor of the orchestra.

And maybe I will curate a show someday, but not right now.

She really liked my piece and asked me a bunch of questions about it. Finally, she asked, "Do have a lot of these?"

"Yes!" I lied.

"Well, I think you should contact the X Museum as they might be interested in these as they do a lot of scientific art exhibits."

"Fantastic!" I replied, "I will!"

So guess what I'm doing? I'm trying to crank out a bunch of cast glass pieces.

This one you've seen:

Here are waxes for the next, which has already been cast.

The wax on the right didn't make it, as I apparently forgot to mix together the dry mix of plaster and silica flour. I checked on the mold when I was steaming it out, and it was a big pile of mush. So I quickly made another wax and made a mold of that.

Here are the cast glass pieces.

Here is the next set of waxes.

I don't have the patience to mix up the frit and glass powder with gum arabic solution and pack the mold with wet frit. I mean I really just don't have the patience.

So... I load the mold up with dry powder and frit. This kind of has an advantage as I get to push the powder around like paint with a brush, and I'm a lot more free and cavalier about throwing the powders and frit around in them. I also use a Tibetan chak-pur that they use to create sand mandalas to distribute the powder in small places. And a rolled up cone of copper sheet for the frit. And a balding paint brush with hardly any hairs to push the powder around. (A nice full brush picks up too much powder).

I don't worry about trying to fill to the border of critters (meaning you overfill and mound up glass to get it to melt down and fill up to the border during firing). I found that I get a nice sharp border for the critters and the background glass flows in behind them a little, but it is only sometimes noticeable. I'll accept this for a sharp border.

I really should be taking notes as to how I apply the color, and I kind of do, but sometimes I forget to write what I did. I can still kind of recreate what I've done. and write it down later if I remember.

I'll eventually figure all this out.

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