So, all good so far. Both the pieces shown with the holes in the bottom corners were made to take the non existent bolts and a piece designed for the new technique obviously won’t have them. I have now fired one of the 2 older pieces but I thought I would explore emphasising the negative space by outlining it. I used Black HiFire pigment, mixed with CMC to give it body and reduce the risk of dribbling. It worked to an extent, in that it did outline it, but the edges are gobby and the colour is unnecessary. But it is the wrong colour anyway – cobalt blue would be better. I avoided that this time because I didn’t want it to vaporise across between the sheets but in fact I don’t think it will at 1100C.
The one specifically made for this technique wasn’t a full success either:
- shows good light transmission. But it’s too fussy and the curves of the outer edges are to shallow to notice the relationship to the inner shapes.
- & 3. show that even at 1100C an unsupported length of 20cm will bend and lose it’s shape. The glaze firing temp is 1060-1120C
Practical lessons learned:
- The design must include a plan for positioning the separators
- They need to be set back at least 1 cm from the surface so as to not intrude
- 10cm is prob the largest distance between them before slumping occurs
- There needs to be a grid drawn on the firing surface, or a template, to assist with positioning so the separators line up
- The shape of the outer surface needs to be more emphatic to draw attention to itself.
- The inner holes providing negative space need to be bigger, less fussy and with a larger internal slope to emphasise translucency
- Holes must penetrate the entire piece to permit light transmission
- 5 & 6 must be related in a whole concept.
- Outlining the edges of the holes with a contrasting colour draws attention to imperfections in the edges (caused by the carving technique) without adding to the aesthetic effect. In fact the effect is interesting – it is associated with microscopic cracking in the surface of the BCS sheet and driven partly by capillary action. But the cracks are often small flakes which make the surface look v irregular and slightly dirty. They are invisible when left uncoloured.
- It might work with simpler, geometric shapes.
- At the moment this is more a demonstration of technical skill than the creation of a beautiful object. But I believe it has potential