Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Pepper Project

I guess I like long projects...

About two years ago I had this great idea for expressive vegetable jars. Green Peppers and Eggplants came to mind. But not just plain vegetables. My jars would have an expressive form to them. I wanted for them to be lifelike and beautiful. Bright colors, shiny, and functional.

When I first made the jars, I was throwing forms on the wheel and then shaping them, adding and removing clay. Each one took about 8-12 hours! Ugh! That is too long for one small piece. I want for people to enjoy them, and I don't want to have to charge a lot to sell them. I had to figure out a way to make them faster.

I thought of molds! I can make molds! So I bought a few books and some supplies, and tried to teach myself... It was just too hard. It got complicated with undercuts, and not getting plaster in the clay area, which can devastate a piece of ceramics. I decided to find someone to make the molds for me. I searched and called around to several places. It's funny how people who have knowledge that you want, simply don't want to share it. Finally I found a mold maker to evaluate my piece and to make a mold for me.

I recently got a chance to make "the" piece to be cast, and I am finally done! I feel so excited! I have finished sculpting and now just waiting for it to dry so it can be fired. I made this one differently than the last 6, and it has taken a lot less time to sculpt, which is great! I guess the more you do the same thing over and over, you will eventually figure out a better way.

Here are some photos of my early attempts and the latest masterpiece. I will update the post once I hear back from the mold maker.

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