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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Other Crafts BeezleBug Mugs (Pg. 14: New Cup/Mug)
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BeezleBug Mugs (Pg. 14: New Cup/Mug)
BeezleBug
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2008
Posts: 212
From: Boulder City, Nevada
Posted: 2008-10-01 8:43 pm   Permalink

Howdy folks,

I've seen so much great art and so many creative ideas on Tiki Central in the last few months that I just had to try my hand at mug making. Here's my first slipcast attempt:



I call him "Tiki Carver." He's using primitive tools to carve a little tiki out of a chunk of palm wood. He's about 7 inches tall and holds a hearty 15 ounces. When I get some time, I'll post information on how I made him. It was all the cool "how to" posts in this forum that inspired me to try my hand at this in the first place.

I've made six of the "Tiki Carvers" and am currently finishing up the glazing. I had thought of selling 4 of them on E-Bay. I'll post in the marketplace forum when it comes time.

I have to say that I'm hooked on slipcasting. It's a messy, complicated art form, but I can't wait to get the next mug into the kiln. Here's my next design:



I call him "South Seas Santa." He's hiding a present behind his back in case he runs into any good Tiki children. When he's finished, his cap will be removable. Strangely enough, I completed the sculpt about a week before Go Tiki posted pics of his "Mo-Ho-Ho-Ho" mug. I guess great minds think alike! I also hope to have a few to sell before December.



[ This Message was edited by: BeezleBug 2012-11-27 18:36 ]

[ This Message was edited by: BeezleBug 2013-01-03 19:17 ]

[ This Message was edited by: BeezleBug 2013-01-20 23:45 ]


 
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Babalu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 19, 2006
Posts: 2503
From: Lemon Grove
Posted: 2008-10-01 10:08 pm   Permalink

Welcome to TC Bee....always good to have another clay person around. Keep cranking out the work and posting. You've got some real nice first mugs here.. way to pick the ball up and run...go bee, go.
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BeezleBug
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2008
Posts: 212
From: Boulder City, Nevada
Posted: 2008-10-01 10:55 pm   Permalink

Thanks, Babalu. It was actually your thread on the OkiDoki mug that got me jazzed enough to start sculpting.

 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7088
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2008-10-02 07:09 am   Permalink

Isn't this fun!!!? Great mugs, keep up the good work!

 
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Bowana
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Nov 10, 2006
Posts: 1159
From: La Mesa, CA
Posted: 2008-10-02 10:27 am   Permalink

Nice one, Beezlebug! Let's see what else ya got.

Welcome aboard!


 
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little lost tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 12, 2006
Posts: 7551
From: Orange,CA-right near the Circle!
Posted: 2008-10-02 11:32 am   Permalink

very nice!
Welcome to TC
You'll find inspiration aplenty here!
the tiki carver looks great!
You gonna do different glaze colors on each?
looking forward to seeing more work in the future!
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BeezleBug
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2008
Posts: 212
From: Boulder City, Nevada
Posted: 2008-10-02 12:03 pm   Permalink

Thanks MadDogMike, Bowana, and Little Lost Tiki. More mugs on the way...

As promised, here's a behind-the-scenes look at my mug-making process. Many of the ideas came from other mug makers on this site...

I started with Roma Plastilina No. 2 over five lengths of PVC pipe hot glued together. I wanted a shape that was less cylindrical and more dimensional. No. 2 is pretty stiff, so it gives your hands a good work out - but, it holds its place well so the sculpt can be handled. The little Tiki guy overhangs the base and sides quite a bit, so I counted on creating a 5 piece mold.



To make the mold, I built a set of mold walls out of scrap wood. First, I cast his front by surrounding the sculpt with cheap, gray, non-drying child's clay (he kinda' looks like Han Solo in carbonite). I used generic Plaster No. 1 to pour each mold piece. After the front, I flipped him over and cast his back (which is an abstracted piece of wood). I built walls from the gray clay. For supports, I cut off lengths of the square clay tubes. Next, I cast his right side, then his left side. Last, I cast the bottom. At this point, I didn't have any straps , so I tied the mold togther with string and added wood blocks to make everyhting tight. I used some old shellac I found in the garage to cover the cast plaster parts that came in contact with new plaster (although I've since switched to Murphy's Oil Soap). With the plaster dry, I used pre-mixed, non-toxic Amaco slip to slipcast the actual mug. All the fine lines on the mug were added during the clean-up phase. One challenge was getting the slip to mix consistently. The first two mugs wound up shrinking more than the last four.



The slip fired at cone 05. I had an acquaintance at the local art center do the firing for me. I used 2 to 3 coats of Stroke And Coat glaze. Thumb Green, Candy Apple Red, Sunkissed, and a mixture of those colors. Stroke And Coat fires at cone 06, doesn't really drip, and is easy to apply. It comes out very bright and vibrant, however, so it might be considered too happy and neon-ish compared to the dark browns and greens of many Tiki mugs. One thing I'll need to practice is getting a good consistency of my glaze thickness. My first mug came out a little too splotchy for my taste.



Here are the tools I relied on the most. Two Colour Shapers with rubber tips (one pointed and the other flat). Miscellaneous wood clay tools. Water spray bottle. Orange Murphy's Oil Soap. Murphy's works well as a mold soap, and can be used to smooth out the Plastilina sculpt. Plus, it's non-toxic and has a lovely orange scent. Nylon straps for holding the mold together. Plastilina No. 2. "Klean Klay" child's clay, which is super-cheap but is probably too greasy as it sticks to the Plastilina too much. C-clamps. And big dowel to mix the slip. I've also picked up a miniature lazy susan.





[ This Message was edited by: BeezleBug 2008-10-03 22:05 ]


 
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BeezleBug
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2008
Posts: 212
From: Boulder City, Nevada
Posted: 2008-10-02 12:07 pm   Permalink

I had thought of trying out several different glaze combinations on the remaining 5 Carver mugs. Any thoughts out there? Maybe one with a solid color like a more traditional brown? Or, maybe, I could layer the glazes to better define his arms and hands and other detail and help knock down the intensity of the green. He turned out more pea-green than I had originally intended.


[ This Message was edited by: BeezleBug 2008-10-03 21:21 ]


 
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Robb Hamel
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 07, 2008
Posts: 1013
From: Ohio
Posted: 2008-10-05 07:43 am   Permalink

Tiki Carver is very cool, very unique. Let's see more.

 
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BeezleBug
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2008
Posts: 212
From: Boulder City, Nevada
Posted: 2008-10-11 08:20 am   Permalink

I decided to be daring and glaze all the "Tiki Carver" mugs differently. I figured I needed to practice my glazing technique and needed see what colors worked together. Here's the result:



The local ceramics expert told me that many elderly folk hated glazing because they could never correlate the unfired glaze color with the fired glaze color. I can see why - you can get some wacky results if you're not careful. In any case, I'm selling a few of these now and have posted to the marketplace.

I also have the first batch of "South Seas Santa" mugs bisqued:



It'll be fun trying to get glaze into the cavity formed by the Christmas present he's holding behind his back. I'll have to build a right-angle brush! Or, maybe I can just slosh the glaze around enough to get it covered.


 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7088
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2008-10-11 08:50 am   Permalink

Lookin' good! I have to confess that I prefer the traditional (boring) brown to the bright frog green

 
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BeezleBug
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2008
Posts: 212
From: Boulder City, Nevada
Posted: 2008-10-11 1:39 pm   Permalink

Brown works for me too. The bright green was supposed to be dark, muted green, but it didn't quite fire that way.

 
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BeezleBug
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2008
Posts: 212
From: Boulder City, Nevada
Posted: 2008-10-27 6:10 pm   Permalink

Got the first batch of "South Seas Santas" glazed. Ha - just in time for Halloween! (Well, he is a little scary.)



I'm selling a few of these on E-bay. Check the Marketplace thread.

I probably won't post a how-to on this one as my mold was pretty darn ugly and the poor little guy had some pretty big part lines to remove. I'll have to slow down on the next one!
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BeezleBug
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2008
Posts: 212
From: Boulder City, Nevada
Posted: 2008-11-18 4:16 pm   Permalink

I began work on my third mug design, which I'm calling "Tiki Parade Vol. I." This will be a barrel style mug which features the faces of classic tiki mugs. More specifically, it will have little bass reliefs of Mr. Bali Hai, the Islander Smiley, Trader Vic's Suffering Bastard (sans legs and arms), Tiki Bob, Ren Clark's Severed Head (right side up), and the Islander Bumatay (head only). I figure it would be a way to own famous mugs without going completely broke obtaining them all.

I decided to try sculpting wax this time around. Plasticine is great, but I can never get it to hold fine detail or super-sharp corners. The local ceramics place in Las Vegas had 10.5 lb. slabs of "Victory Brown" microcrystalline wax for a reasonable $20. Microcrystalline wax differs from common waxes in that it has extremely small crystals. This makes the wax strong, yet suitably plaiable when warm. "Victory Brown" is a grade often used for maquettes and other small character sculptures. I read somewhere that it got its name in World War II. It certainly sounds like a patriotic wax!



I started by printing out reference photos from Ooga-Mooga. I chiseled off a few chunks of the wax and warmed them up in an spare microwave. When warn, the wax is very maliable. I used an old Gatorade powder container as the base. Once the basic features of the first face (Mr. Bali Hai) were roughed in, I cooled the sculpt by setting it in the freezer.



You can heat, re-heat, and cool the wax as many times as you want. When the wax is cold, you can carve it and, to some degree, sand it. To smooth out the cool wax even further, you can apply mineral oil. My regular clay sculpting tools worked fine, although I see why some model makers will use dental tools when working with wax. Not only are dental tools sharper, but they can be quickly heated to melt the wax in small areas. The faces on my mug will run 2" high, so sharp tools are a must.



I would be curious to hear what other types or grades of wax are used in tiki mug making. Any wax sculptors out there? Tiki Farm guys?
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little lost tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 12, 2006
Posts: 7551
From: Orange,CA-right near the Circle!
Posted: 2008-11-18 4:26 pm   Permalink

contact Squid
he's the man with the plan!
he tools that wax like it was his slave!

Great to see the fever is still in your veins
and some good stuff is comin down the pipeline!


 
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