Tamping tools that you can make with Sculpey & all thread that are pretty nice for reaching/tamping larger sections of the class project – especially the bottom of the bowl. Both materials are readily available (art supply & hardware store). The texture of all-thread helps hold the Scupley part in place & fire them in a kiln or an oven as directed to harden the clay. Use a bolt cutter to cut the all-thread down to an appropriate length. I've also used a hack saw to get the cut started until I could bend the all-thread back & forth to break.
My favorites for the Intro pdv bowl are the ones in the attached pic. Both of the rounded ones have flat bases, nice for the bottom of the bowl. The one shaped like an ear (it is curved) can be good for tamping over the foot of the bowl and smoothing the upper part of the bowl. For the upper part, I also like somewhat larger spoons – think about matching the curve of the tool to the curve of the form. It’s more challenging pack the grains well with a tiny spoon, which can also leave the surface kind of bumpy.
Curious, regarding production, is the wax cast reuse able for multiple molds?
If the wax model is not damaged in removing it from the mold, it can certainly be used again. If it is damaged, it can be touched up and used again, certainly.
I remember, in class, it was mentioned that it might be possible to use a mold without breaking it. Perhaps not one that you make. Is this possible or am I just dreaming?
I think that slumping molds can be used in pâte de verre, just not in exactly the same way as in the workshop & current pate de verre videos (Bullseye Online Education). This is on my list to explore as the question comes up often. I've seen a piece or two done this way...
Moisture is a pretty key component in the pâte de verre technique shown in class (& video lessons). Packing a wet plaster/silica mold helps the water & gum arabic frit mixture stay hydrated, which also helps lock the grains into place w/ tamping. It all works together and is dried at the same time.
Approaches with slumping molds tend to compete with this idea of having moisture in both the mold & the frit, because of how release agents work. I'd choose primer over Thinfire as I think it would conform to the mold better.
A primed (slumping) mold may be effective - though I expect will have a different feel when packing. A dry mold helps the primer layer stay in place but may work against keeping the frit in place. If I were to try this, I would try to pack the mold in a way that would generally keep the primer layer intact to protect the reusable mold (& the piece). I would try an open, gently curved mold rather than one with sharp interior angles. I'd also lean towards a lower process temperature than used in the class/video & probably not use talc.
There are many different approaches to pate de verre. You could also try fusing a pate de verre piece (flat), then slump it in a mold... There's lots of room for adaptation & experimentation!
We use very similar schedules for both of our in-house pdv projects (4" diameter, 2" high bowl & 6" diameter, 3" high bowl) with good results. There's room to scale up without changing a thing, especially if the schedule has been tested out & the result was desirable. Also, working with a similar thickness (to the video) & keeping it relatively even is important here. It took a bit of testing to arrive at the published schedule and the variables are many. Scaling up a few inches in either dimension should be fine.
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