Saturday, January 10, 2015

Christmas store window design

I created this "Rudolph and the Island of Misfit Toys," theme window for my friend Mary Kathryn's store, Clash, in Dayton. The store carries "offbeat" clothing and art items, hence highlighting those items as the "misfit toys" of the island. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Monday, May 12, 2014

Making a plaster mold of the tiki mug - Part 1

After completing the carving of the tiki mug, we decided to make it a four-part mold. I then checked the carving for undercuts because the mold has to release smoothly off of the clay surface. Then using a level work surface make sure your sculpture is level. So after you slip cast your mugs they're not crooked. just imagine all that while looking at this picture of the finished carving. (That hat on his head is called a spare. It sets in from the rim so your mug has a drinking edge. When the mold is made this stays an open hole to pour your casting slip into the mold, and pour it back out after is sets.)

Now the fun part. Prepare to have a day sucked out of your life as you build the mold.
There are different ways you can build it, this is what we did. (By we I mean I suckered my husband into this mess.) We have some boards with "edges" screwed into them so we can clamp them at any size "mold box" we need.  (also, make sure they're square. Even though we do this its still a crapshoot sometimes.)

Then figure out how thick we want the plaster mold. We are making the mold 3.5" thick from the center of the carving. So that is about 1.75" to 2" of plaster deep. Mark the inside of the box you've formed and begin to fill it with clay or I use a mixture of foam packing, cardboard, foam core and clay. (I've used wood scraps too.)

After I get it as high as I need "cradling" the carving. I pack clay in all around being sure to make it seamless against the carving. I packed clay on each side and bottom making it smooth up to the carving. Then I built the center wall so we could pour the first quarter of the mold. This is where you need to get all the seams water (plaster) tight or it will drip and run out. Run a bead of clay against the wood, (2nd picture) the clay even up the walls of the mold box where they intersect. Think: "this has to float" it MUST be water tight!

Next spray some mold release on your carving and in the box. Cover EVERYTHING that the plaster will touch. (You can't see it, but its covered in butter cooking spray.) Using a measuring bucket estimate how much mass you have to fill and mix the plaster accordingly. (2 parts plaster to 1 part water. Its also better to mix a little more than you need than be too short! FYI) Mix is slowly to avoid air bubbles, make it lump free and well mixed. Then pour it in the mold slowly letting in cover evenly and smoothly. Some people brush it on, but we didn't need to ...we think.

After the plaster heats and hardens it will cool a bit. then you remove the clay or filler to the next section of the mold to be filled with plaster. Spray with mold release, mix and pour your plaster. Do this part four glorious times and you have a mold. 

We started this endeavor at 11:30 in the morning and finished at 7:30 at night. Told ya, a day will be missing from your life! Hopefully, it will be useable!
I'll do a 2nd post with pics of the mold and pouring slip.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tiki mug carving process

When I make a tiki mug I start with a sketch of what I want to do. (The hardest part of the process!)
The sketch then gets transformed to an actual size sketch, taking shrinkage into consideration.
I throw a cylinder, not pictured, on the wheel leaving it solid, in the size I need, sans design. (The design adds .125 to .24 more width to the mug sculpture.)

The actual size sketch is then laid over a slab of clay that was previously rolled out to fit the design. Then I cut the pieces out of the slab to then applique to the cylinder scoring it and using slip to attach.

I cheated and just rolled the heavy cylinder over the design (carefully) to attach it. (It came out better than expected. Usually I just pick up the pieces and attach them one by one.)

So I get a beginning design like this. Latter I'll post pictures and  a step by step carving for mold making.
Thanks for checking out my blog! :)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Tiki show - Dayton ohio

4 days and a few hours to go until the Tiki show at Clash!
Friday March 1st at 6:00PM. Clash Consignments in the Oregon District in Dayton
Paintings, Mugs, Sculptures and rockabilly surf music for 4 solid hours or more.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tiki Lantern Build -March tiki show at Clash

I started with a dumpy little sketch of a tiki, based on some New Guinea carvings.

I roll out a large slab of clay and wrap it around my form for my basic shape. (there are 2 coffee cans stacked and taped together then wrapped in newspaper inside the giant tampon shape)

I painfully slide it off the form...for like, 15 minutes. Then I cut out my basic lantern parts, like, the back so you can put a candle in...and cut out basic eye and mouth holes. (watch it collapse when I fire it...)

Then add shapes and "tattoo" elements...Still in process though!

And finished sculpt.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013