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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: 2012-07-25 1:16 pm   Permalink

I just noticed that Solomon is being carried in a litter like a King - ha - very cool.

 
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BeezleBug
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2008
Posts: 212
From: Boulder City, Nevada
Posted: 2012-07-25 1:17 pm   Permalink

And now for something different. Thought I'd dust off my CafePress shop and add some Tiki T-shirts for fun... Here's the first design:





 
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BeezleBug
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2008
Posts: 212
From: Boulder City, Nevada
Posted: 2012-07-25 9:17 pm   Permalink

A little Frankenstein work on a couple of run-of-the-mill mugs...



 
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danlovestikis
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4964
Posted: 2012-07-25 9:34 pm   Permalink

Great Shirt and Fun lamp you are on a roll, Wendy

 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7397
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2012-07-25 10:07 pm   Permalink

Love the shirt

 
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BeezleBug
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2008
Posts: 212
From: Boulder City, Nevada
Posted: 2012-07-26 11:54 am   Permalink

Thanks. Here's some more silliness:



 
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Badd Tiki
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Joined: Aug 28, 2008
Posts: 370
Posted: 2012-07-26 3:17 pm   Permalink

ahhhahaha, I c wut u did there

 
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BeezleBug
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2008
Posts: 212
From: Boulder City, Nevada
Posted: 2012-07-27 1:35 pm   Permalink

A friend was asking me about the slip casting process, so I thought I document my newest mug, Topknot, in more detail. Here's the start:

I sculpted the mug in Klean Klay Alternative Medium. The Klay was built up over an empty tin can to give it some extra rigidity. Rubber-tipped clay tools were used to add detail. I smoothed the Klay with my fingers and a little Murphy's Oil Soap.



Now, time for the mold. Because the sculpt included intricate line art, I suspended the mug nose-first with short Klay pillars. The pillars join the sculpt where there was no detail. The whole thing sits on a large corrugated plastic matte.



In order to create a plaster cast on the sculpt's back, a Klay platform is built-up to reach the rough center-line. I like to use new sticks of Klay cut-to-length. The top of the Klay platform is smoothed and delicately joined to the sculpt body. The trick when creating a mold is to avoid creating overhangs, where the slip-cast will not come out of the mold without tearing and shearing.



Eventually, the platform surrounds the entire mug. Note how the platform is not flat, but undulates in a quest to avoid mold overhangs. Also, notice that I changed how the platform meets the mug bottom. There's a tube there that will allow the slip to be poured into the mold. (More about this later - the tube is in a non-conventional location.)



A 4-walled, adjustable casting box is placed around the result. I made the box from identical pieces of cut lumber. There are brackets on the top corners so the walls can slide back-and-forth and take on different widths and lengths. The empty gaps between the Klay platform and the walls are filled in with scrap Klay left over from previous mugs.



Eventually, the platform to smoothed out to meet the walls. Additional Klay is pressed in the wall corners to prevent any plaster leaks.



At this point, plaster is poured in. No photos for this as it's not very exciting. I buy plaster in 100 lb. bags from Aardvark Clay in Vegas. I don't measure when I prepare the plaster. I dump some in a large plastic bucket, add tap water, and mix by hand until is feels right (no too dry, not too watery). I've gotten pretty good at estimating the amount I need for a pour. (I suppose I should be more careful, but I'm all about quick-and-dirty - I need time for all my other non-Tiki pursuits!) So, the plaster is poured in the box. When it's somewhat dry (within hours in Nevada), the box is pulled apart and the Klay platform is removed.

The resulting plaster half in placed on the table. The mold-box is positioned around it. Klay tubes are added to the plaster edges and the box corners to prevent leaking. A little Oil Soap is sprayed on the plaster (to prevent new plaster from sticking to the old). New plaster is mixed and poured in.



When the new plaster dries, the box and Klay is removed and the two plaster have are gently pried apart by hand. Here's the result. (The two have are the same width and length - the slope of the center line makes one look shorter.)



Now, here's where it got interesting...

1) Klean Klay softens due to the heat of the drying plaster. Klean Klay Alternative melted with great vigor! Normally, the original sculpt comes out a bit beat up. This time, the sculpt was destroyed and I had to spend time scrubbing and scraping the Klay residue out of the mold. I may have to switch to a new sculpting clay next time.

2) This mug has a lid (the top of the head). I decided to cast in the body and lid in one piece and then cut it apart in its slip cast form. This requires me to pour the slip into the mold with the mug upside down. I'll have to then repair the resulting hole in the mug bottom. I love complicated molds, so this is my way to make a two-piece mold more difficult!

Now, while I'm waiting for the plaster to thoroughly dry (another or two), I can think about glaze. I'm going to break out of my boring Stroke-and-Coat habit, and use some crystalline glazes...





[ This Message was edited by: BeezleBug 2012-07-27 13:38 ]

[ This Message was edited by: BeezleBug 2012-07-27 13:43 ]


 
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danlovestikis
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4964
Posted: 2012-07-27 3:12 pm   Permalink

Hi, we made two molds today. You did a great job on your photos. The clay I use that works well is Romo sculptors clay #3 and #4 for fine detail. You can use it over and over again after molding. Or as I just did with the Sacramento Crawl mug I made it in clay and bisque fired it. Then we used it to cast the molds. Great job, Wendy
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BeezleBug
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2008
Posts: 212
From: Boulder City, Nevada
Posted: 2012-07-27 3:18 pm   Permalink

My problem is that I like working with soft clay. I hate working with the stiffer Plasticines. However, I do like the idea of firing the master sculpt before making molds.

 
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BeezleBug
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2008
Posts: 212
From: Boulder City, Nevada
Posted: 2012-07-30 6:29 pm   Permalink

The Topknot build continues...

I assembled the mold, tightened it with a couple of cargo straps, and poured in cone 06 white slip sold by Aardvark Clay. I let it sit for 2 hours, then poured out the excess. I let the remainder sit in the mold for 24 hours.



In the meantime, I fired a test tile with my new glazes. I overlap the glazes in a grid to see what combinations look like. An old test tile with Stroke And Coat glazes sits on the left while the new test is on the right.



After a day, I cracked open the mold. For a 2-piece mold, it's a very tight fit, so I had to wiggle out the mug very slowly. You can see the pour tube at the mug bottom.



Now, for clean-up. The mug top was cut along a predetermined seam to create the lid. The cut is at a down-angle so the finished lid can't fall off. A straw-hole was cut into the back of the hair. The pour tube was cut off, flattened, cut into a disc, and inserted in the resulting hole at the bottom of the mug with fresh slip as glue. The bottom was flatted by twisting the mug on a wet, flat surface. Extra slip was poured inside to thicken the bottom. The mug is 8-inches tall at this point. Now, time to let 'er dry...



 
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BeezleBug
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2008
Posts: 212
From: Boulder City, Nevada
Posted: 2012-08-04 11:14 am   Permalink

Topknot continues...

Normally, I finish cast mugs with some hand tools, my thumb, and some water. This time, I thought I'd step it up a notch by sanding. It certainly helped, as the result was a smooth surface with the Maori lines clearly visible. The bisque fire was next. 1855 degrees F in a Paragon electric kiln. The mug was "candled," whereby the mug was kept under 300 degrees for the first couple of hours. As for glaze, a base coat of green matte crystalline glaze was followed by a blue gloss crystalline glaze. A ragged feather brush was used to create a wood-like grain pattern. Here's the mug after the glaze was painted:



The glaze-fire went to 1800 degrees F with the kiln lid slightly open until the last few degrees. In order to glaze the bottom, the mug was balanced on its back on some kiln stilts. Once cooled, the mug was cold-painted with red oil on the exterior, then wiped down. The red only stuck to the exposed matte areas. I love the result and am glad I decided to break out of my old glaze habits. Here she is in her final form:







 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7397
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2012-08-04 12:59 pm   Permalink

I missed your previous post earlier in the week. I like the angle brackets you put on you mold boards, very good idea (I'm gonna have to steal that )

It looks like the mold is working well, good idea to cast the mug and lid together then cut them apart.

Glad to see you picked up some crystaline glazes, you'll have fun with those!
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BeezleBug
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2008
Posts: 212
From: Boulder City, Nevada
Posted: 2012-08-04 2:03 pm   Permalink

The mold is a bit tricky to work with. First, the pour tube is very narrow, so I have to let the slip dry inside the plaster longer than I normally would. Also, because I'm pouring upside-down, the bottom becomes thinner than the top. To offset that, I let the excess slip drip out for a long period of time and thus beef up the bottom. Last, I have to patch the hole in the bottom while the slip is still somewhat wet. But, it all pays off with a perfect-fit on the lid.

Got the angle bracket from someone else - got tired of tightening clamps.


 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7397
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2012-08-04 2:10 pm   Permalink

The red oil is a cool look. So you don't clamp the mold box, the brackets and the corner sealing clay holds it together?
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