Vina Mould workshop

My second workshop consisted of making vina moulds, which is the pouring of reusable hot rubber. The material comes in blocks which are cut up and heated until a liquid.

The process of vina mould are:

  • Rolling a thick slab of clay (roughly 1 inch)
  • Pressing the item into the clay
  • Creating clay boarder around the slab, making sure its taller than the item.
  • Whilst heating the vina in the microwave for roughly 5 minutes
  • Pour the vina in the clay mould making sure to cover the whole item
  • Leave to set

I decided to try something a little weird and cast an Oreo.

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I wanted to cast the whole biscuit instead of one side, and actually create a 3D cast of the Oreo. To do this I put a screw in the bottom of the biscuit and pushed it into the clay, this allowed it to stand up without touching the clay creating a whole cast of the Oreo.

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Vina moulds do have some draw backs for example you can not use dry or sinewy objects. This is because the the mould will try and pull at the air pockets in the object rewening the mould. However vina mould can create perfect moulds with delicate and beautiful detail.

If there is any excess vina left over it is necessary to put it on the floor till it makes a thin disc. this will then allow you to easily and efficiently cut and reheat the vina next time.

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The next step would be to use the mould to create a wax cast, as shown in this photo.

wax moulds are created from vina mould to end up being used in Bronze casting.

Similarly to vina mould wax chunks are out into a pot on a designated burner and allowed to heat up. once it is all melted and hot the wax is poured in to the vina mould, and allowed to cool. Once it is cool the wax cast is done.

Another technique is to weld two pieces of set wax together. By placing a metal palette knife on the burner you can put the hot tool between the wax pieces allowing them to melt slightly and join them together. this process does involves the wax spitting and can be a bit dangers. Caution is necessary.

Pertaining to the visual – 1

My first ever constellation lecture was about interrogating the everyday. I learnt about how all aspects of culture communicate through visual means. One of the first exercise was about the underground sign in London.

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This is an incredibly iconic symbol and a very good example of visual communication. We immediately recognise this symbol and understand what it means. It is also recognised all round the world and has been used as a symbol of British patriotism.

We then discussed how when something gets made it should be honest. An object shouldn’t hide what it is or mislead us. this visual communication should be truthful. By being honest the context of the object would be much clearer we would be able to see or understand the circumstances i which the object was made

some examples of different category of contexts are:

  • historical
  • political
  • technological
  • geographical
  • ethical
  • moral
  • social
  • cultural
  • gender
  • philological
  • professional
  • visual
  • religious

Metal workshop

For this term my first workshop was in the metal room with Dallas, where our aim for the first session was to create a metal candle holder. We used the majority of the equipment in the workshop for example

  • Guillotine
  • mechanical saw
  • circle cutter
  • Plasma cutter
  • Spot welder

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For this first session our aim was to make a candle holder which consisted of a small square tray with a patterned metal circle as its back. Metal is my safety blanket my most comfortable medium in sculpture, so I was pretty pleased with this mini project.

My favourite part of the process was the plasma cutting. I honestly feel incredibly calm when I am cutting through sheet metal like butter, with mass amounts of sparks flying around me. Although I found that I did not enjoy the measuring and accuracy of the prep work. I think this is because I have the bad habit of not perfecting or checking my work. Id like to think I “go with the flow” and “mistakes” aren’t always wrong, that you can usually find something positive out of a “mistake”. This theory however did not help me when I had to make something with specifications.

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Fragile Exhibition

During my first week on the maker course, we had the opportunity to visit the Fragile exhibition at the National Welsh Museum. The exhibition offered a variety of themes and processes, ranging from small to large scale.  I really enjoyed the pieces that had the demonstrational videos which showed how the physical pieces were made. It was inspiring to see the effort that goes into it the process and how the artists work and adapt their techniques. I feel this has helped me appreciate other peoples work so much more.

My favourite piece from the exhibition was the twisted pot by Michikawa Shozo. Shozo is a talented japanese ceramist who creates ceramics that demostrates a flare. He is known for creating art that stands out in exhibitions  as the art speaks for itself. He describes his clay technique as  a vigorous process of twisting, gouging and cutting. Shozo sees clay and fire as materials that cant be completely controlled, he may direct the material but in the end its the clay that determines the outcome. I think that the way he guides the material but lets it do what it wants is truly amazing. I really admire the fact he doesn’t strive for perfection and is process i will aim to do in future projects. Shozo has really opened my eyes to the manipulation of clay and how im not necessarily 100% in control.

Michikawa Shozo's twisted pot 2009 stoneware, ash glaze
Michikawa Shozo’s twisted pot 2009
stoneware, ash glaze