July 29, 2010

Spoon frustrations

Sometimes the distance from initial idea to finished product is longer than anticipated.

I had visions of making a white porcelain spoon, wafer thin and elegant. A few weeks ago I went to work making a plaster cast from a spoon found at my grandparents. It is pretty thin and delicate, so I added clay to the back of it to make it a bit thicker. In the last couple of weeks I have been trying to cast the spoon, but it has proved to be a tough nut to crack - they keep breaking at the ‘neck’! I think the profile of the spoon I picked is just too curvy, so that the weight of it creates a weak spot right there. I have tried pouring and pressing, drying on its belly and on its back, drying in the mould and building small scaffoldings underneath it, but after eight broken ones I am about to throw the whole thing at the wall. So in an attempt to try and get at least one spoon through both firings, I press molded a very crude one in sturdy stoneware. And ta-da! Here it is: one finished spoon! Not at all what I set out to make, but still - a spoon in one piece! Will keep trying on the porcelain one, and eventually I’m sure I’ll get there. But in the mean time I’ll enjoy this small victory.

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