Milling: Our plaster blanks were milled successfully with only minor technical difficulties.. (After breaking an end mill we had to troubleshoot our G-code and managed to salvage our plaster blanks.)
Casting: We took our mold to the ceramic lab and cast our first pieces
Our first round of casting proved to teach us about material properties. Our high hopes for our dynamic vine design were quite literally shattered. After leaving the ceramic slip in the mold overnight it had shrunk so much that it stressed the clay to the point of tearing.
We found a solution to this problem by adjusting the draft angle on our mold through a hand carving process. We also shortened the dry time to 3 hours and 30 minutes and released the clay from the mold while it was still plastic. This round of casting proved to be much more successful.
The size and geometry that we have designed asked a lot from the innate material qualities of ceramics. Even our successful cast have proven to be incredibly brittle. We have lost a few piece just due to breakage during handling. We are hoping this risk will provide a reward but ultimately we are leaning out pretty far over our ski’s. Fingers crossed these will survive the kiln!