Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Essay on 19th century art

For the last few days I have been rather consumed with our THAP essay. Although handed in 2 days late I feel it is the better for the extra time. the 3 works chosen are shown below linking them all with Romantic poetry or writings of some sort. Thanks to Dougie for taking the time to edit it with me until 1am on tuesday reluctant as I was to do MORE it was worth it.
"the Lady of Shalott" (1888) J. W. Waterhouse.
" the fig tree chalice" (c.1896) Emile Galle.
" Chaucer at the court of Edward III" (1847-1851) Ford Madox Brown.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sandcasting stage 2 ( for those who arrived some what later)

Anna and Joori with a spade :). Well for once I have to thank them for being late. Since we did the casting in two batches instead of one, there was enough space to try out another 'iceberg' for me (Andrew's suggestion). Andrew pushed the mould further down and built up sand around it to give the final cast more volume. When it came to adding the inclusion I nabbed the closest out of the hot box which ended up being the engraved piece.

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After all the pieces had been safely delivered to the annealer by Marcus we (actually Deb) worked out the annealing schedule.

Sandcasting stage 1 (those who arrived on time or near to it)

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Alice and Sarah graphite -ing their wooden push moulds.

Andrew suggests that either of my two blown inclusions in the hot box are a tad too big to go into the space that would be provided by my cedar mould. By now I don't really care about all the palava I went through to get it done over the last few weeks..maybe I had begun to think I was being a bit excessive? Any way I still had the copper netting that I had made, so that would suffice and the other two pieces could be kept for another least the colour would be fixed.
Andrew pushing in the first mould into the hand mixed and fluffed sand and bentonite.

Spraying the voids with coke a cola (apparently there is a use for it after all) to carbonise the surface area which is then torched to help stabilize the shape in anticpation of being filled with hot molten glass.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

mermaid's a'hoy!

Ok, so plan B or is it S by now? The express parcel hasn't arrived yet from ceramaglas so I have embarked on another idea... I have engraved the image of the mermaid on the blown piece which I will then fill with the enamel mix.

After I have used my blown inclusion with the engraving, Andrew walks past.."package for you"
Ah I think well a bit to late really, nothing to be done I've just used up my blank.

Kate however wasn't going to let this go says she "I have some blown pieces you can use".. So we sort through some pieces and i choose one which seems the right shape (it has a few bobbles on..but i can work around those ..right!). I go and saw off the bit I need give the other half in for much needed cullet. Then off to screen print the decal emulsion over my enamel screen print. I wave it beside the furnace waiting for it to dry. So in the mold room I have basin of tepid water, decal and glass. The decal comes off like pressed noodles impossible to handle and all flibberly flobberly..hmm throw that in the bin SOOOO not going to work. What did I do wrong..OH YES of course what a ninny I am..the stress is obviously effecting my reasoning capabilities and probably my spelling too. For reasons that will be too hard to explain here for the final layer you need to make another scrren print that encompasses the whole area of te design not just the lines...which of course i haven't done. Oh well nothing to lose i'll just slather some on with the squeegee any way..more time spent at the furnace drying a much thicker layer of overcoat...drying dryING DRYING. So again I am in the mould room with a basin of warm water, the Decal, glass AND Howie and Kate. Soaking the decal works, it is still all floppy but slightly more manageable with helpful instruction from Howie. Remember the bobbly glass I mentioned earlier? well I thought it would be easy to avoid but hadn't counted on the decal being to basically got put on where it ended up. Much to Howie's amusement the only bobble ended up under the mermaids now rather ample breasts! So now I have two inclusions to choose from. they will both go in the hot box tonight to warm up to 600 for sandcasting tomorrow.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Desperately searching for decal overcoat

Right, so last night I made the humongous decision that I was going to SKIP my theory lessons in the morning to go in search of the lost key of the Decalian empire..sorry the um final ingredient for my decal glass screen printing experiement..but by this moment it did seem rather epic!
Dougie, my knight in shining red armour drove me to my first port of call to pottery supplies in Ryde /homebush. I waited for at least 3/4 an hour while another customer was served (it was a big order so fair enough) and wondered around trying to figure out which tub was the one i wanted. Finally the other customer got his order and went...leaving Corey to help me puzzle out which tub held the stuff I needed which ended up being none as the shipment they had expected hadn't arrived from their other store in Brisbane. THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANT TO HEAR!!! So I bought some binder which smelt more like honey than rocket fuel, a rubber kidney and some wooden tools went out to the van to wail my news at Dougie.. who sensibly said "where else?"
DEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep breath. Well possibly a place in brookvale or Finns. nope to both. Finally in desperation I phoned ceramaglas (who would of course have some but are in Victoria and I need it tomorrow) June (the nice lady at Ceramaglas) said yes we do have some and apparently was going to ask me if i needed any when i ordered the rest of the kit last week..but I sounded as though I knew what i was doing ( nothing could be further from the truth). June said she would express post me a small amount of the stuff and would try to get it out by the end of the day... I thanked her and Dougie drove me to college whilst I wondered if it had all been worth the effort and missing my theory lecture AND tutorial.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I had thought I was well planned, but no I missed a few KEY pieces in my preparation. My idea for an inclusion for sand casting was a screen printed piece of pre blown glass. I chatted to Kate who directed me towards ceramaglas and the idea that i would need 'low firing' enamels. Great Thanks Kate..good start. Screen printing stuff was ordered and after speaking to Ceramaglas so was some enamels and decal paper. I excitedly opened the package today to realise that they arrive as powders...hmmmm I need a fluid binder medium ..ooooooooooookaaaaay..where do I get that before thursday? of to Kate again..hurrah there is some and yes I can have some. Phew.
Once I'm home and making the screen I suddenly realise..I am using a decal(so I can wrap my design around a pre blown piece) so that means I have to immerse it in water first and the medium is WATER what? I don't know yet..plan C has not yet emerged..urk.

Monday, October 19, 2009

screen printing gocco style and wig jigging!

Ok, Final drawing done and photocopied..ready for the chemical less screen surprised mermaid is ready...

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Project updates and a visit to Brian Hirst's studio

This morning was a chance for Andrew to gauge our progression in our two accessible projects "Sensibility shift" and "Into the water" with a bit of a chat about next years electives and extensions.

We had a few hours to fill before heading off to Annandale so some of us went to the work shop to start or finish our blocks for sand casting next friday, some for cold working and mold making. As well as more shaping on my laminated block I tried knitting with a larger thickness of copper wire. After 2 and a half rows I decided that it wasn't to be. The finer wire was OK but there is a risk it will burn out completely. hmmmm

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dinner at Yulli's

Thanks to this blog "The unbearable lightness of being hungry" I knew about Yulli's so I could suggest it as a place to meet up with some friends after work /uni. This was my first trial of it though I trust the author of the 'Unbearable lightness of being hungry' and I was not disssapointed. I will be going back and I imagine my friends will be taking their friends back to it too. I don't drink beer but the extensive list of wonderfully named Australian boutique beers made me want to order one just for the experience. The food, all vegetarian was wonderful, great desserts, and good prices....for a really good review with pictures prices 'n all go here.
The space has been well utilised, the interior design is fun but refined. The astro turfed walls in the 'alfresco' section and the stringed ceiling inside were great features. The front door is wide enough for a wheelchair to enter but there is one medium size step.
Photo by Lee Tran Lam of the above blog.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

perspective on books

I knew that I had a decent collection of books. In the shed where I had lived for the last 8 years my ever expanding colection didn't seem that big. Now that ALL of it is in a flat in Sydney i'm beginning to feel a little overwhelmed. There are books in the kitchen, in the bathroom, in the bedroom, in the hall, on the living room table, in the spare room, in the study, on the floor, on chairs, on bookshelves, on top of bookshelves, double stacked on bookshelves......ahggghh!