Sunday, September 18, 2016

Styrofoam Hump Moulds Weekend Workshop

I am exhausted, but had a wonderful weekend in a workshop with Linda Doherty, building Styrofoam hump moulds, and using them to build ceramic dishes / bowls / platters.

On Saturday, we made a huge pink mess cutting Styrofoam, first with a jigsaw, then using surform tools and sandpaper (and pieces of screen door), to form the moulds.  We were each allowed to make 3 moulds, in 1", 2" and 3" material.  I managed to work quickly and squeeze in a fourth one.

Here they are, at the end of day yesterday :
Hand made styrofoam hump moulds for clay platters / pottery.
You can see that the oval and triangular moulds are 1" thick, the octagonal one is 2" thick (I think that will make some nice serving / dinner plates), and the hexagonal one is 3" thick.  That will be a really deep bowl.

The two smaller moulds, I have covered in pantyhose / nylons, to protect the mould, and make it easier to pull out from inside the clay.  For the bigger ones, I will either need to find bigger pantyhose (or use the body section, not the leg), or just sprinkle with cornstarch when I use them.  Today I just sprinkled with cornstarch.

Today we rolled clay slabs, and tried out our hump moulds.  There would have been enough time for finishing two of them, but most of us started three, and didn't finish them all.  I was very happy to finish this serving platter, with a dragon scale / fish scale pattern to it :
Dragon scale serving dish created from my handmade styrofoam hump mould.
I'm very happy with the handles, which my friend Teena helped me make, as she could see I was panicking with only 10 minutes left in the class.  I hope the top one in the photo is not as off center as it appears in the photo. 

Here is the platter from the bottom :
Bottom of oval serving platter in clay / pottery.
I like the foot, I thick it looks pretty clean.  I didn't have time to cut out a divet on each side, so I may do so next time I'm at Shadbolt, if it's not too dry already.

The other two platters, I still need to add an extruded rim (or at least clean up the edge, if I decide not to add a rim).  Here they are from the back :
Ceramic serving dishes formed over styrofoam hump moulds, in progress.
I am really happy how those extruded feet worked out.  Very sharp looking, in my opinion, and it will make it easier to get one's hands underneath to lift it.

I don't have a photo of the inside/top, since I haven't flipped them over yet.  That will be on next visit.  But both will be textured inside, something like this :
Textured clay slab, many of the stamps my very own creation.
I can't wait until I can finish them.  And I look forward to trying out my very deep hexagonal mould, although I can see that this one may be quite hard to wrap the clay onto, if I start with a flat slab.  We'll see.  Stay tuned.

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