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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Other Crafts SWIZ....MUGS 'N' STUFF.New mug, Staff Sergeant Nuoai.
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SWIZ....MUGS 'N' STUFF.New mug, Staff Sergeant Nuoai.
danlovestikis
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4970
Posted: 2011-03-04 2:26 pm   Permalink

Hi Swizzle, i just read your information on MauiTiki's thread. I was told by a master mold maker, he did this as his profession for 25 years that the plaster should have the consistency of buttermilk. So far that's worked for mine. But I have wondered what happens if it's denser. Wendy

 
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Tikiwahine
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Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3288
From: Victoria, BC
Posted: 2011-03-05 9:30 pm   Permalink

Great thread - I will be watching with much anticipation.

 
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swizzle
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2007
Posts: 878
From: Melbourne,Australia
Posted: 2011-03-16 04:50 am   Permalink

I didn't do an update last week as there wasn't much to show and the photo that I wanted to show didn't work for some reason. Here's an update from tonights class.

First of all here is the picture that shows the way my teacher props the master up for the first pour that I tried to explain in Mautiki's thread (i've taken this photo three weeks in a row and it only worked now).


After the first pour the master had plaster that had splashed on him (pic. on page 1) that had to be cleaned up ready for the second pour. Here it is cleaned up and back in the box ready for the second pour.


Tonight we split the two halfs to see how it looked and it separated nicely. I'm very happy with how it's turned out.


After a quick clean it was re-assembled to pour the top part of the mold with the spare, which you can see sitting on the top in the first photo. Although it's not perfectly straight and square in the mold, they will be when they come out and I can clean them up after each pour. It is just another thing that i've learnt in the process of making a mold for a mug that I can change when I make another. I must say that after seeing Wendys and Mautiki's threads, and what my teacher has shown me, i'll know that I will be taking tips i've learnt from each of them to make my next mold with 100% confidence and knowing that i'll get it right the first time.

Hopefully i'll be ready to pour, if not next week, then definitely the week after. That will be a whole new thing to learn as will be glazing.

P.S. Wendy, I did my first test glaze sample. It will be fired this week so i'll post a pic of it next week. Also, my teacher mixes her plaster thicker than buttermilk and said she wasn't sure if the denser plaster made any difference to how much water it would pull out of the slip, just that it made the mold more durable.


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[ This Message was edited by: swizzle 2011-03-16 04:53 ]

[ This Message was edited by: swizzle 2011-03-29 04:13 ]


 
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zerostreet
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Joined: Feb 06, 2010
Posts: 1968
From: http://www.zerostreet.com
Posted: 2011-03-16 04:54 am   Permalink

Nice work! Looking forward to seeing more!

 
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danlovestikis
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4970
Posted: 2011-03-17 11:25 am   Permalink

Hi Swizzle, I really enjoy your photos. Seeing another technique is helpful for all of us. I plan to make more molds of my Tiki Bob decanter so right now the first mold is unopened until I'm ready.

I had to free up another section of wall for more glaze tests. Keep a record. When I glaze I pull the chips from the wall and match them up with the glaze jars and then as I paint I can refer to them.

You are going to enjoy this so much. I love the work and challenge. I can see you will too. Grog and my mold instructor said that what makes a strong lasting mold is to let it completely dry out before it's first use.

Best Wishes for a perfect first mug, Wendy
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GROG
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 21, 2006
Posts: 6915
From: Tujunga
Posted: 2011-03-17 12:52 pm   Permalink

When GROG mix plaster for making mold, the way GROG learned to get the right mixture is to first pour in the water in plastic container. Then add plaster a handful at a time so you can crush the lumps if it has lumps. Keep adding plaster until you have enough that it floats on the surface like an island. Spread it flat and let it sit until it soaks up enough water that it looks like it is all cracked, looking like mud cracking in a dried-up lakebed. Then mix with a dowel. Tap the sides to get the bubbles to come to the surface and blow on the bubbles to make them pop. Pour the plaster in the mold starting at the lowest part in the mold. GROG use a spatula to wipe out excess in the container. Tap the sides of the mold firmly to get the bubbles to rise and the plaster to settle flat. To clean the spatula and container, let them dry out completely. Squash and bend the container and spatula and the plaster residue will break off. Do not wash plaster off in your sink because it will dry in your pipes and clog them. Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when you mix plaster because if you breath plaster dust it could go into your lungs and stick and harden and cause breathing problems. And like Wendy said, let your molds dry completely before you start casting and your molds will last longer.

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GROG miss Tiki-Kate

[ This Message was edited by: GROG 2011-03-17 12:53 ]


 
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swizzle
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2007
Posts: 878
From: Melbourne,Australia
Posted: 2011-03-24 12:16 am   Permalink

OK, here's this weeks update. First of thank you Tikiwahine and zerostreet.

I learnt something interesting last night which my teacher wasn't exactly clear about from the beginning. As i've mentioned and posted photos of in my previous posts (and Mauitikis thread), the way my teacher showed me how to do the first pour was to use a couple of cones of clay to prop up the master and then pour around it and remove them later and fill them in. Now apparently thats the way the "professionals" do it, however what she didn't mention was that that first pour of plaster will be thrown out and repoured after the second. So it is effectively cutting out having to pack clay around the master and then removing that clay and doing the second pour to achieve the same result.
Removing the cones and filling them with plaster is the "cheats" way of not having to throw out all the plaster used in the first pour. I have all the materials needed to make another mold this weekend and i'm not 100% sure how i'll go about it exactly but I do know i'll by using tips i've learnt both here on TC and from my teacher.

Now to the plaster, Wendy, my teacher said thicker than buttermilk herself and the way we were doing was the same way as GROG mentioned (thanks for your advice GROG), however we just stuck our hands straight in and broke up all the lumps with our fingers.

My mould is finished now so i'm ready to pour my first mug.I'll be going in on the Tuesday night class to pour one so that it will be ready to remove on Wednesday night which is the day I usually go. Very anxious and excited to see how it will turn out.

Then it'll be time for glazing, and that will be interesting. Wendy, you mentioned in a previous post that Babalu told you to glaze test, glaze test, glaze test. I can now see why.

Here is my first test glaze strip.


I went into my local ceramic supply place and was told they didn't have purple (my favourite colour) and would have to mix my own using blue and red, obviously. Now if you cant quite see from the picture, going from left to right I mixed 10 parts red to 2 parts blue. Then 10-4, 10-6, 10-8 then equal parts red/blue (in the middle) and then reversed that blue/red. As you can see, I certainly dont see any colour there that you could really call purple, at least not a shade i'm after. So it's back to the drawing board. The master and mold, to me at least, is quite simple, but glazing is a whole other ball-game. I think i'm going to have quite a few test glaze mugs floating around at the start.

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danlovestikis
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4970
Posted: 2011-03-24 4:43 pm   Permalink

I love that strip. I haven't started mixing yet but that's on my list of must do's. Cheers, Wendy
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swizzle
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2007
Posts: 878
From: Melbourne,Australia
Posted: 2011-03-29 04:36 am   Permalink

Today I went in on the Tuesday class and poured my first mug. WooHoo. Here's a pic of the slip in the mold. Not very exciting, but it was interesting to learn and see what the spare is there for. It was amazing how much of it actually sinks into the mold before it dries enough to pour the excess slip out. (We let it sit for just over 30mins).



I'll be able to remove it tomorrow and my teacher said i'll actually be able to pour another one after it's removed.
So excited. I hope it comes out OK. (The black strap you can see holding the mould together is just two thin bits of a car inner tube the teacher cut up. I was amazed that that was all she used and it works. I went to the hardware store and spent $20 on some tension straps.)

Here's also a couple of pics of a some other stuff i've done/working on. First is just a little skull I made when I had 20mins or so to kill in class after working on my mold. Also gave me something to practice glazing on. Glaze isn't perfect but I think he's pretty cool.



Now I also had a guy I met through a Kustom Kulture gallery, who does resin moulding, ask me to make a gearstick shifter. After pouring the mug I got to work on this Moai.



Want to work on the ears, do the mouth and clean it up, then it'll be cast in resin. About 4" tall. I'll have some more pics to post tomorrow.


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hewey
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Joined: Sep 14, 2004
Posts: 4278
From: Sydney, Australia
Posted: 2011-03-29 04:55 am   Permalink

Cool stuff mate

 
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LOL Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 06, 2007
Posts: 932
From: San Diegoish
Posted: 2011-03-29 1:03 pm   Permalink

Looks like a lot of fun. That skull is sweet!

 
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danlovestikis
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4970
Posted: 2011-03-29 1:26 pm   Permalink

There's no going back, you are hooked! It's the best addiction there is. Enjoy, Wendy
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swizzle
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2007
Posts: 878
From: Melbourne,Australia
Posted: 2011-03-30 05:13 am   Permalink

I'm going to start of this post with just saying how much respect I have for all the talented mug makers on this site. You already had it from me before but after tonights class you have soooo much more of it. Wendy Cevola, Mauitiki, MadDog Mike, Beachbumz, GROG, and then what can you say about the 'true' masters at this caper. Munktiki, Crazy Al, Gecko, Bai, Squid, Babalu, Bowana, Vantiki and anyone else I might have missed. It is a truly HUGE time consuming effort to produce consistent high quality mugs.
(Thanks also hewey and LOL Tiki).

Alright, what an exciting, and informative class I had tonight. I pulled my first mug from the mold that I have spent the last eight weeks making in my weekly ceramic course and i'm VERY happy with my first attempt.

Here's some pics of the mold and the mug opened for the first time.


The mug on it's own showing the 'spare' on top which allows for shrinkage as the slip is settling and water is being drawn into the mold. (I know it's not level on the top, I cleaned that up after).


These close-up pics show the seam where the two parts of the mold meet which needs to be cleaned up and also several places where it looks like I might have left some slight undercuts. (There was also a small one on the top of the goatee in the pic above. That, and the one on the eyebrow, left pic, were the worst).


After seeing these imperfections I then scraped away at the plaster mold in the places where those appeared and made the mold much smoother in those spots. I then reassembled the mold and poured another mug which i've bought home and will remove tomorrow. Now the REALLY big thing I learnt tonight after seeing the mug out of the mold the first time, is to get you master as PERFECT as you can before you start on the mold. This will save a hell of a lot of time you spend cleaning up each mug you pour. The plaster really does pick up every single detail in the master, and if it's not smooth and/or even you will have to clean it up after. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the second mug comes out after cleaning and smoothing the mold out. As i've said in past posts, the mold itself is not as daunting as it might seem (unless you start making 6, 7, 8 piece molds etc. Wendy, i'm looking at you ). Glazing is a whole other ballgame to learn, but any other mugs I might make in the future, I know now that i'll be spending a lot of time on the master, getting IT right, before I even think about making a mold from it. You either spend several hours getting ONE perfect- the master, or you can spend several hours getting each and every one you pour perfect. I know which one i'd rather do in the future.

Anyway, after all that rambling here are a few more pics of where I got up to cleaning the first pour before the class ended. Still needs a little work but i'm stoked. I'll post some more pics tomorrow of the second mug with the cleaned up mold.


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danlovestikis
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4970
Posted: 2011-03-30 07:42 am   Permalink

Hi Swizzle, I'm amazed at the fine detail that shows up in your teeth. I had wondered if your mold would be able to produce that. Good job. Your mold is not that bad. Even the molds I bought from Gecko who has done it forever left me with major clean up on every mug. It's just part of the craft. I spent four hours yesterday cleaning up and perfecting 7 Lanai mugs.

At the hardware store they have screen sandpaper. The dust falls through and it lasts a long time. I cut it into little squares. It takes the excess off really fast.

How many more weeks does your class last? Wendy


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GROG
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 21, 2006
Posts: 6915
From: Tujunga
Posted: 2011-03-30 08:46 am   Permalink

To get the top and bottom flat, lay sand paper flat on the table and move your mug around in a circular motion, turn over, and do the opposite end. Don't press down or you'll bust the sides. Don't do it when it's too dry and brittle because the sides will break, and don't do it when it's too wet because it will collapse. The best time is when it's leather hard or just a little drier than leather hard.

 
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