Saturday, 30 June 2012

June 26, 2012

Gonzalo Espinosa is creating a clay piece in Tucson, at the Sculpture Resource Center, using a Styrofoam mold -- milled in Guadalajara from a 3D digital file -- as a press mold.  This is a continuation of a larger digital process that began as a drawing.

A Confederate soldier standing next to the final ceramic relief at Tucson's 237th birthday party in the Presidio, flanked by two of Gonzalo's paintings (Aug 20):



We actually had a false start earlier this year, trying to do the same thing.

First he coated the mold with Vaseline as a mold release (June 26):


Then he pressed the clay into the mold, piece by piece:


Gonzalo used a layer of the same thickness throughout the whole mold, so that it would dry evenly and not crack in the kiln.  This results in some depressions in the clay, where the relief sculpture is deeper in the mold:


Finished:

Gonzalo covered the clay with plastic, to slow down the drying.  He also clamped the mold to the table, as the Styrofoam had warped in the sun:




We demolded the next day (June 27):


The flaws in the clay surface needed to be repaired:


Gonzalo roughed up the surface imperfections with a fork first:


And then smoothed the surface out with water and a wooden clay tool:


Lastly he sponged the whole surface, to smooth out the texture which the roughly milled Styrofoam left on the clay:



Gonzalo cut the wet clay so that the pieces would fit in in the kiln.  After firing them, he put the ceramic piece back together like a puzzle (July 14):


 
The piece glazed and fired (July 28):

 


 




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