• Terracotta cherub

    The first matt glazed version of this cherub is out of the kiln, it looks pretty good but I don’t like the gloss on what is supposed to be a matt glaze, I’ll be testing out a few other products I ordered.

     

    KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThe white crackle glazed version also did not turn out as expected, the jar of glaze which came was so thick it was like wallboard paste, it took 6-8 oz of water just to get it brushable, now I learned it has been discontinued, maybe these results are one reason why:

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  • Terracotta cherub

    The first hand-pressed terracotta cherub, made exactly the same way they made the architectural pieces for building facades in the 1890s has been removed from the mold. The experiment on this is a success, although I need to change a couple of things in the mold making process because there were some issues with the mold making compound I used that caused a very rough pitted surface, that roughness has transferred to the terracotta but that is an easily solved issue.

    The cherub is made from Continental course red clay with grog.

    Here’s how it was done in the old days, hand pressing the clay into plaster molds as these workers are shown doing:

    pressing clay in molds

  • Art Deco bisque

    Now I have the first terracotta from the new mold, it turned out extremely well and I hope to fire it in the kiln this week,

     

  • Terracotta

    Here’s the first terracotta cast fired in my kiln, next to one of the cast-stone casts for size references, it’s clear the clay shrinks dramatically resulting in about a 1″ size loss.

     

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  • Since I had about a quart of Rebound 25 mold rubber left over I decided to use it to make another rubber positive in a small mold, so after brushing on some of the release on another old Polytek mold I brushed the first application and then poured the rest in the mold. Now 6 hours later it’s cured so I pulled it out and it had cast perfectly with no defects and just as smooth as the original.

    So the surface defects with the Econ 40 were the fault of the Econ 40 not the release or the Polytek mold.
    Think tomorrow I’ll make a plaster piece mold of this Art Deco piece.

     

  • Wolf roundel

    Now that the Roman Ruins panel is essentially finished and needs to dry out slowly, I am ready to cast the wolf roundel st for a client in Brooklyn, NY who  plans to install it in the brick wall of his garage. I had to make a whole new mold of it due to the first mold’s rubber portion tearing far too easily and making it unusable.

    I had put off replacing the mold untill I had an order at hand for it since replacing a mold this size costs around $250 in materials and two days of work. Actually this set has two molds and the second mold should be replaced next.

    Here’s what the complete five piece assembly looks like on the wall in my studio:

  • Roman Ruins done

    After another 3-4 hours work this evening I came to the last square inch on this model and now it’s finished!

    There will be a little more final cleaning up on it to do yet as it dries out.

    The clay is Continental course red clay with grog.

     

  • Romain Ruins progress

    I finally got back to this after letting it sit a while, it’s now kind of leather hard so I need to get the finishing done quickly.
    All the work I did today was on just the winged lion, hopefully tomorrow I can finish his front paws and get a substantial amount done on the other half.
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  • Videos

    In this video I show the new wolf head mold and how it works,  but I also show a soon to be discarded mold of the other material I used to use and anyone can see how easily it tears like paper even when it’s a good 1/4″ thick. I only got 16 casts out of the first wolf head mold before the section in and around the mouth tore badly enough it was unusable.

    Mold video

    And in this one I show the current model in progress “Roman Ruins”

     

    Roman Ruins

  • Cherub in ceramic

    Just finished pouring the 5th section- the base for this mold and it can come apart in a half hour or hour.
    It took a box 16″ square and 5-1/4″ deep to fill it high enough to cover his nose by about one inch.

    I also ordered some slip to try out, it was a real pain trying to find what I wanted, and then when I did, I found they can’t ship those 2 gallon boxes via UPS. A couple of places can ship one gallon slip containers but one place had a $26 price plus UPS for one gallon.
    As I know it took one gallon of rubber to cast the sculpture, I’ll need to have a couple of gallons of slip as one isn’t enough.

    I was going to look into mixing my own but then by the time I bought a 50# bag, plus the UPS, chemicals needed I read the instructions on mixing it said to mix for 2-3 hours with the mixer so I guess mixing it in the 5 gallon pail with a jiffy mixer and drill isn’t going to work, so I found my normal outlet has slip but the UPSable size is 5 gallons, about $26 for the slip and $40 for the shipping and ordered that even though I strongly dislike paying almost twice what a product costs to buy just to get it shipped to me! I don’t have the equipment to mess with mixing batches of dry slip.

  • Roman Ruins progress

    I haven’t worked on this much this last week as I’m on vacation from work, and I also spent a couple or three days repointing the brickwork on my gallery building, but it’s making progress. The puttis’ hands were not easy, I worked on those  and his face yesterday, and today mostly two of the lion’s paws that were only roughed out.

  • Re-pointing the gallery facade

    I finally had time this week to set about repointing the brick on my gallery building, the weather was just perfect, warm, nice breeze, low humidity and sunny. I had to rust treat the exposed steel I beam flange, prime and paint it first, then I began work on the mortar repointing. It’s just another of those periodic kinds of maintenance things I have to stop work on other projects to do.

    Most of the facade is good, it was just a couple of courses of brick all the way across where the mortar was like sugar an inch in, obviously that had been repointed very poorly.

    After I finished repointing I needed to caulk some gaps between the steel flange and the lowest course of brick and it’s done.

    Here’s some pictures during work:

     

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