Sunday, July 22, 2012

Final Installation

Here are the photos from the final installation of the work at Liberty Lofts in Ann Arbor.

Assembly of the column didn't go as smoothly as expected, but it lead to an interesting discussion on how the work could progress and embrace more of the qualities of terra cotta. Through using digital machinery, the project tried to produce perfectly molded forms that would fit together with minimal gaps. During the process of making the panels, each panel shrinks, curls and moves in a slightly different way than the next panel. Because of this, many misalignments occurred that would be further explored if the project were to continue. The joinery wouldn't be looked at as a perfect fit, but would rather explore how to overlap the panels and embrace the imperfections of the terra cotta. These photos take a closer look at these areas.



Monday, June 18, 2012

Final Panels

The final panels have all been made, fired, glazed and fired again. They will be going to Liberty Lofts tomorrow for the installation!

Multiple Columns

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Glaze Tests

I tested two different glazes, one is an amber color and the other is just clear. Both came out really well and the final column will incorporate both.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Starting the final column

Production for the final column has been started. The molds for the final are being made out of rigid insulation rather than plaster for several reasons:
1. Time. It takes seven days to prepare the plaster for mold making and out of foam, molds can be ready to use in two days.
2. There are height restrictions with the 3-axis CNC router. If molds are deeper than 5 inches, there are collisions issues with the material and the routing bit. Because of this, the molds need to be broken into sections and glued together after they are routed. This would be a difficult process with plaster.
3. Plaster molds would be made individually. By placing several molds onto one larger sheet of material, molds can be nested and use the material more efficiently than with plaster.
4. Weight and ease of maneuverability. Plaster is heavy and using foam makes it very easy to move the casts and molds around to various locations in the building a much smoother process.

There are some downsides to using foam such as not getting the same resolution that you would with plaster. Plaster has a very smooth and clean finish where the foam is a little fuzzy. For this project, picking up the tool path details are important, but the casts can be easily smoothed the day after casting.

Test Column

This is 4 pieces of a 16 piece column assembled. I was testing the process of making the panels, firing, glazing and connecting pieces to one another, so many of the other 12 pieces are being used for various tasks.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Epicurean Cast

This is the final design for the year long project. A column standing eight feet tall, made out of terra cotta using formwork that has been routed on the 3-axis CNC router. Images of the constructed column will be coming in the next few weeks.