Prototyping ceramics

Each of the projects starts with a number of sketches and collages. Once the hand drawings are ready we transfer them to the computer and redraw them with CAD software. In this way we receive an accurate drawing with all dimensions needed to proceed to develop a 3D prototype.

First of all we make a solid positive form of the project. There are several ways to do it depending on the size and complexity of the form. We do it by cutting out a profile with the outline of the project, so that we can form a solid positive model out of the plastic clay. It is important to remember that the positive has to be bigger than the final piece, as the clay shrinks during the firings around 15%.  

Once the solid clay form is ready we use a rubber band to create a formwork around it. We pour the liquid gypsum plaster in so that it covers up the model. After it sets we can pull the clay from the plaster mold and let it dry for several days.

For prototyping we use a liquid clay. We pour the clay into the dry plaster mold. Plaster absorbs water from the liquid clay and thus a thin skin of solid clay appears on the walls of the mold. When the skin is thick enough, we pour out the rest of the liquid clay and leave it upside down to drain. Once the piece slightly shrinks inside the form, we are able to take it out, polish it and fire for the first time.

KM.

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