|Monthly Tech-Tip |
These four sections were glued together to make a larger one. Now it is possible to quickly precision-cut the shape for making my pie-crust mugs. Later I re-printed these templates on a better 3D printer so the inner vertex holes cut out much better.
The one on the left weighs 176 grams. The right one is thrown and weighs 376 grams. Of course the body needs to vitrify well to be strong enough to produce a durable product. But not vitrify so much that the weight of the handle pulls the rim to a oval shape during firing.
This is made from 100% of a natural clay (3B) from the Whitemud formation in Ravenscrag, Saskatchewan. I rolled the plastic clay into a thin layer, cut it into a cross-shape, drape-molded it over a plaster form and then slip-joined the seams. It fires very dense and strong (to zero porosity like glass!). It holds together well and joins well with its own slip. Although not super plastic, it is smooth and fine-grained like a commercial porcelain body. I add 1-2% bentonite to make it more plastic when needed. It has the ability to be rolled extremely thin and yet does not warp in the firing! This mug has a weight-to-volume ratio of 2.08 (the weight of water it will hold compared to its own weight).
Standard 3D printing technology (not printing with clay itself) is very useful to potters and ceramic industry in making objects that assist and enable production.