Monday, April 16, 2012

The Gulfstream Experience

At SCAD, we have a very amazing building, Gulfstream, that houses the furniture and industrial design majors.  I have been submerged in that community recently because I am involved with a few projects there.  

For my first project, I am learning how to weld.  I am creating two custom made glaze carts (see incredible depiction below) that will accommodate a small space that is at the end of two tables in the room. 

I met last Friday with a very capable individual at Gulfstream to begin the welding process. I would just like to insert here, that just because I'm a ceramicist, doesn't mean that I'm a pyromaniac.  It was quite interesting trying to use a Mig welder that leaves a spray of steel everywhere, but I kinda enjoyed it after I got the hang of it.   I learned how to make coils and dots.  It was a very basic session, but I decided to assemble my tests into an interesting piece of junk, which now serves as a business card holder residing in my office.

Email me for details on how to purchase this wonderful and one of a kind piece of artwork. :)

For my next project, I am assisting our Ceramic Tableware Design Class in a collaborative project with a Furniture Design class Accessories for Living.  The first part of the project is to create a prototype of the form you want to make using 3D modeling software.  I created the raw bones of my cloud bowl in Adobe Illustrator and I emailed my design to Justin, the technician in Gulfstream who is assisting the class as well. He is familiar with Rhinoceros (one type of software, which I would love to learn how to use one day), so he took my drawings and creates these:

I will get to "print" this prototype by using a FDM (fused deposition modeling) plastic printing.  There is a particular machine that prints this shape in a closed chamber. It divides the shape into layers and builds each one at a time.  I then have to sand the prototype to erase the appearance of the layered marks, but after that, I will get to use this form to make a plaster mold.  This will then become a ceramic bowl that I intend to function as a dessert bowl (think banana split or ice cream sundae).  I will get to print this week and start sanding soon.  

The advantage to using this type of system is that I can get an exact prototype free of any unwanted marks or undercuts in a few simple steps.  Typically you would either make the shape by hand or use a found object.  I like this system because it incorporates both of these aspects.  I'm way too excited about this.

Other good news, I have shipped 84 plates to UG.  I am firing 25 more right now and hopefully I can glaze those this week so I can have those shipped out by late next week.  Almost there...!

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