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Hand-tooling a mug model vs. 3D-printing and casting it

I am creating molds for a 2019 casting-jiggering project to reproduce heavy stoneware mugs manufactured here 50 years ago. I have a profile drawing I want to match (upper left). The solid plaster model on the left was my first attempt at manual tooling. The metal template was time-consuming to ... more

Friday 6th December 2019

3D-Printed shell to cast working plaster jigger molds

The grey outer shell mold on the left was printed in two parts and glued together (at the shoulder). It's vertical split enables me to open it a little. The center model of the outside contour of the mug (on a two-step base) was made by casting the plaster inside another two-piece 3D-printed form I ... more

Friday 6th December 2019

The incredible utility of 3D printing master handle molds

These molds are 3D-printed from PLA filament. They are part of my 2019 year-long casting-jiggering project. A quick soaping, 164g water, 236g plaster and a fifteen minute set produced this plaster mold. It takes time to learn how to soap the masters properly to get optimum quality, but these molds ... more

Thursday 5th December 2019

Fusion 360, my choice for 3D modelling

Intimidation by the complexity of this type of software is the biggest obstacle you will face to learning 3D design (for 3D-printing). That being said, the new mission of AutoDesk, the leader in CAD software for 30 years, is to make it easy and universal! Fusion 360 has a lot of advantages. It is a ... more

Thursday 5th December 2019

Laguna B-Mix on Steroids: Wedge in some Plainsman Fire-Red!

Both pieces have a transparent glaze, G1947U. The Fire-Red (a blend of Plainsman A1/M2 and St. Rose Red) was mixed as a slurry, dewatered to plastic form and then wedged in to the B-Mix (left piece has 10%, the other 20%, the bar in front shows the pure material). The A1 supplies most of the ... more

Thursday 5th December 2019

Polish the plaster surface, not the 3D-printed shell-mold

This plaster model was just removed from the 3D-printed shell behind. It dropped out easily (after tapping it at-an-angle on the corners), this worked well despite the resolution lines on the surface. While I could have spent time sanding and smoothing the inside of the shell-mold, it is actually ... more

Thursday 5th December 2019

A 3D-printed spout greatly increases the utility of this casting mold

It was glued down using the casting slip itself (it stuck in seconds). About ten minutes after draining a fettling knife was run around the inside, then it detached easily. The overhung lip produced imparts structural strength, for drying and firing, to the thin walled piece. This spout has ... more

Sunday 1st December 2019

Cooling rate drastically affects the appearance of this glaze

This is G2934Y satin matte with Mason 6600 black stain. The piece on the left was fired using a slow-cool firing schedule (C6DHSC). The schedule for the one on the right turned the kiln off at 2100F (after a half hour drop-from-2200F-and-hold), then it free-fell. The slow cool gives the glaze on the ... more

Tuesday 26th November 2019

Why does transparently glazed terra cotta look better at cone 03 than 04?

Terra cotta bodies typically develop richer color at cone 03 and fire much stronger. Glazes melt better and thus micro-bubbles pass through easier, this produces better transparency and a more brilliant surface. Notice that crazing is beginning on the one of the left. But because of better ... more

Sunday 24th November 2019

White stain. Does it work?

This is G2934Y matte glaze base with opacifiers added. It has been applied to a dark-burning body to demonstrate the comparative degrees of opacity. The stain is Mason 6700 white. While it does not opacify nearly as well as tin or zircon, it does produce a smoother surface.

Sunday 24th November 2019

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