I returned to college on Monday this week as Michel from the French company was arriving at 8.00am on Tuesday morning. He came over to bring some equipment and materials and to demonstrate the infiltration process.
Alastair had completed a second tureen base, so I now had one set, plus a tureen with thin handles. The equipment was set up in the cold glass workshop, first experimenting on some test pieces of tureen. By the end of the day all was infiltrated, cured with the UV lamp and dried in the oven, or so I thought.
I carefully packed the two pieces and took them to Paris by Eurostar the following day. When Michel inspected the pieces he thought that they should have been cured and dried in the oven for longer. There were tell-tale blotchy patches which show the uneven curing. Michel had made a second lid for me, so in theory I have two tureens.
The day in Paris was spent making some tests for the black ceramic topcoat. Michel also proposed to make another tureen on their Z Corp machine using 131 powder as it is stronger than the 130 that College uses. It was decided to produce it in black to make the application of the topcoat far easier.
The following day I brought the test samples into College and compared them to a Wedgwood artists proof of an Eduardo Paolozzi Newton sculpture that is in the office. Surprisingly the colour that I thought would be the closest was far too dark, an iron oxide stain being far closer. I photographed the samples against the sculpture and emailed them to Gilles who planned to make up the colour in the lab and send me the results over Christmas.
The next stage will be to return to Paris to collect the pieces some time in January
Friday, 21 December 2007
Tuesday, 11 December 2007
When I came in to College this morning Alastair showed me the first attempt to make the tureen. It is very fragile, one of the handles had broken off and the design will need amending to provide additional strength to the weak areas, but it looked amazing. Once the design is made strong enough to infiltrate, it should become durable and I'll be able to take it to Paris next Wednesday for it's surface treatment.
Thursday, 6 December 2007
Before producing the final version there was a need to test the design. The tureen lid was used as the first section to be tested in production on a Z Corp 510 machine.
The result, though very delicate, was spectacular. There is a huge difference between exploring the virtual form on screen to engaging with the real thing.