These are the beautiful results of the raku kiln I did today. I’ve used a white crackle tin glaze with a copper matt and a copper glossy glaze. The matt I had not used before, the results are better than I expected them to be. The colours could have been more vivid if the flames were fanned for longer, but I wanted to smoke them for the white crackle to develop. If I refired them I could improve the results, but as I have decided not to use them as the final piece I will not be doing that in the time I have left.
The copper gloss glaze has come out better than I could have hoped for. I wanted the purple and blue to be prominent as they are the colours associated with the celtic deity Arianrhod. I chose to put the copper on the bottom because it has texture that will be unexpected and cannot be thoroughly looked at because of the design. It keeps the mystery of the Celtic deities and reminds us of the unknown.
This is the finished slab built ceramic pin hole camera with the pin hole image taken to be a trigger for augmented reality software.
The raku firing process. This process is a lot quicker than using an electric kiln and also a lot cheaper to set up, it is also more fun. We used this method to decorate the pinhole camera boxes. The glazes used are a white crackle which contains tin and a copper which becomes iridescent when put into a reduction style environment. The black that is visible in the final picture is the clay that was left unglazed. The ceramic pieces are placed in the kiln and the gas is turned on, this heats to a high temperature very quickly and the average firing time is about twenty minutes. When the gas burners are switched off is determined by looking into the kiln at the glaze, it has a certain shine to it when it is fired to the right temperature. The gas is then turned off and, using prongs, the work is lifted out of the kiln and into a bin of sawdust. this causes fire and a reductive atmosphere where the copper can reach its full potential. The smoking bin is left for another twenty minutes before the ceramic pieces are dunked into a bucket of water to cool them quickly and stop the process the glazes undertake. The final image shows my pinhole camera after the process of raku. I have used both the tin and copper glazes and left the ceramic unglazed. This is important for the inside as that is where it needs to be darkest. The camera is also a part of an instillation piece created by all the students.
France trip. Half of the Maker students undertook a trip to La Perdrix, (http://www.laperdrix.net/index.html) where we worked with our course leader to complete an intense week long project. The project involved slab building a pinhole camera using raku clay (which has more grog in it than standard clay). I chose to build mine in a shape that represents the window of the room I stayed in. The slab building was hard because the clay was slightly too dry and cracked when I was building with it, luckily it fired well and a sturdy object was created. I also had problems with the “door” for the box – before it the bisque firing it was too small yet after it was too big. After a lot of sanding it fitted in well.
Materials: paper, glue, balloon, porcelain slip, invisible thread, LED lights, wiring.
The instillation created reflects the “REGLOIT” design by IKEA, one of the biggest retailers in Cardiff. I have been inspired by our need to own “stuff,” this has lead me to explore ideas of consumerism and material values through their community of spending.
The way I have displayed my work echoes the organisation of IKEA, with minimal objects displayed and others waiting, in piles and rejected, waiting to be chosen.
The context of the work is to fit into the IKEA living space that is desirable in the home. It can also be taken out of its context and put into a gallery environment as a piece of fine art.
Got to wire my lights together today. I found a way to connect the lights so that only one resistor is needed and less wiring is involved, this means that my instillation will be less “messy” and more professional. the wiring was pretty simple, I just found it a chore to keep the positive and negative parts of the LEDs separate and then the wires connected. The lights worked first time after soldering, and they now trail up to the ceiling from the lights and down into the space where the battery can be connceted.
Finally, I have got my work from the firing at 1280 that took place at the end of the previous week. Two days before the submission date for my project I am delighted to find that the concept I have been working towards actually works. Pictures of the instillation will follow, hopefully tomorrow.
Holding devices for ceramic lighting. I have changed my mind about the way I want to hang my work. I feel that the wire structures were too intrusive. The hard, dark metal took away from the pure white, smooth objects. I have decided to use invisible thread which I am weaving to create little nets to hold the lighting in place. I feel they appear more mysterious now as you cannot exactly see how they are hung.
New work. Just got these out the bisque, they went in at 1280 today. Their a lot thinner than the previous pieces in porcelain, so I am hoping i have finally made a light that works.
Sand blasting induction. Because of the thickness of the ceramic I decided to give sandblasting a go to thin out the surface. Unfortunately the ceramic is not a consistent thickness and the nature of sandblasting means that holes were created where the ceramic was thinner. This is unfortunate, but I have plans that will incorporate my thick and thin pieces.