Saturday, October 16, 2010

Slip Casting - You Always Burn the First Pancake!

After enjoying the last few days of summer, we finally had time to take a stab at the much anticipated chicken wing slip casting. The first thing i learned was that slip casting is just like making pancakes, the first one never turns out.

There's a few things we need to do before slip casing. First off, clean your mold - scrape all the corners down to a 45 degree angle. The reason behind this is because we don't want pieces of plaster to chip off into the clay, the plaster will ruin your piece when fired in the kiln. We then drilled a hole through the base of the chicken wing to make a 'gate', where you pour the slip in and out of the mould. You want the gate to be located somewhere where it won't be seen or used. Next step, making the slip. It is basically it's diluted clay (with other additives), we pour all of the 'ingredient' in the bag and massage it until it's mixed evenly.

Pour the slip into your mold, slowly move it around and tap it to get all the air bubbles out. secure the two molds with rubber bands, or in our case, we used an old bike inner tube. Then you wait...

Giving the slip a nice rub and tug

Pouring slip into the mold

We waited 15 minutes and tried to drain the slip through the gate. However because the hole we drilled was too small, it solidified and basically clogged up the gate! when pulling the molds apart, the clay was not dry enough and came apart! (you always burn the first pancake, right?). This is definitely a trial and error process, we need to work on perfecting the timing, removing, and solve the problem with the gate.

Chicken wing... with club sauce

The Shine is gone. The clay is dry!

Cracked while pulling the clay off the mold

Test piece completed! Fail?

Craving chicken now. Double Down anyone?

- Jess