Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Monday, 25 March 2013

Two Experiments

Seems Mikey wasn't happy with his iPod dock, and wanted to build one more suitable to his warped thinking. It also gave us a chance to do a piece about 1.5" thick that needed several firings to execute properly. 
We first laid up a base of alternating colours eight layers thick to represent the wooden plinth of a turntable and fused it into a solid block in a stainless steel dam (lined with fibre blanket). Because of the thickness, we fired very slowly to make sure the differential in temperature was minimized to prevent thermal shock. In this case it was 200 degrees/hour to 1100, with a 20 minute hold. We then fired to 1460, with a 15 minute hold, finishing off with a crash cool down to 970 with a hold of 120 minutes. 
The top cap that consisted of the turntable platter, arm and controls was then added to the prefired base and refired, this time to a temp of 1430 to allow for a bit more of a 3D effect, rather than fusing it to flat. Here's the finished result-

Next, because we had this piece in a steel dam with fibre blanket lining the perimeter we ended up with a rough edge that really doesn't look as attractive as it could. It also looked a little too 'rigid' for our liking. We were looking for a more 'play-doey' kind of look, so back into the kiln it went for a hopefully successful fire polish.
Once again, because the finished piece is about 1.5" thick we have to fire up slowly, and make sure to include a longer anneal soak time so take note of the notes above. 
The danger of this firing is that we fire too low and all is for naught (?) or we go too high and end up with a puddle. Taking an educated guess, we shot for 1350, with no hold and got lucky-

iPod broken in by the Infamous Figimodo, playing his favourite band- Little Axe!

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