Sunday, November 9, 2014

I have not quite perfected it but I am working on using Makerbot PLA 3D prints for lost wax casting at Appstate. So far, so good.  I think there is a lot of wiggle room.  The first run was a semi-success.  I have a lot of tweaking to do.  There was some pitting but I am fairly certain that I poured when my mold was way too hot.  I also need to adjust the soaking times to insure that the PLA has been completely burned out.  

Here is my burnout schedule:

Ramp to 400 F 
Hold at 400 F for two hours
Ramp to 750 F
Hold at 750 F for two hours
Ramp to 1350 F
Hold at 1350 for two hours
Ramp down to 800 F
Hold for twelve hours 

The last twelve is for the students.  If I can nail this down we will have at least four students casting in one session.  The twelve hours is overkill but allows them to get all their stuff together.  

I had some pitting on my piece but I am certain that with the above schedule it was due to the flask being way too hot. 

I also tried printing the sprues along with the print.  I am not sure if this will work.  It is very easy to attach the sprues to the PLA.  I think I am going to just stick with printing the model without the sprues.  

I had to almost completely re-do my handouts. They are all laminated now and ready for the studio.  

I am going to try it again today with another print. 

I am having a lot of fun experimenting with Zbrush to produce models for the printer (green skull at the top). I have found that the more I mess around in Zbrush the more I like it.  It is not Rhino but fills a void for me regarding organic modeling.  

I also bought a new DSLR (Nikon D5300) and plan to do some experimentation with high resolution agisoft photometry

So much to do.  If anyone has any suggestions I am all ears.  

Sunday, October 26, 2014

blogstravaganza (probably too much for one post)

I have been seriously slack. I have not posted anything on the blog in a long time (three weeks?). The last month has been a whirlwind of craziness. In an attempt to take advantage of every opportunity, Liz and I have been on one crazy adventure after another. It started with the Penland core show last month and then Wisconsin and most recently Asheville. Mind you, in between things I have making work and teaching AND still trying to repair/update the Appstate metals studio. So much to do. 

 I was invited to teach a workshop in vinyl cutting and electrolytic etching at UW Whitewater. This is the first time ever that Liz came with me to teach. Besides some minor technical issues we had a blast. The Whitewater studio seemed to be running like a top. It was great to see all of the students so engaged and energetic. We had so much fun running around we almost forgot we were actually working.  It was really nice to see some tools being implemented so efficiently such as the spray etcher and the electro-forming area. Thanks Teresa F Faris for inviting me! 

After Whitewater we went to Madison to visit Tanya and Matt Crane! Tanya was an undergrad at New Paltz and has been my studio assistant many times in the past. I was incredible to see them. Tanya is currently pursuing her MFA in the metals program at UW Madison.  I had never been to Madison but have heard great things about their metal program. The studio lived up to they hype. So much history. So many tools. What a great thing to see. It just wanted me to pick up a hammer and make something. The metals studio was just pulsing with potential.

Tanya gave us an inside tour of the Metals studio and the grad area. She showed us all the nooks and crannies including Lisa Gralnick's enameling, box and ring samples. I got a an opportunity to do a studio visit with Jeff Clancy. Jeff told me he doesn't really do the social media thing. I asked him is he would mind if I posted some photos of his studio and he said okay and posed for a photo. I told him to "look serious". Lots of great work punctuated the corners of his studio. Jeff just started his gig at Madison last year and most of his work was still in boxes but you could see things happening here and there.  It was refreshing to see giant sheets of metal floating around. With silver being so low it is sooooooo tempting to buy a big sheet and grab a hammer. It made me miss my days of raising one vessel a day for a week.  

 After Madison, Matt and Tanya gave us the driving tour. There was a football game so we kind of had to get out of dodge before we were locked in with traffic. We of course went to a bunch thrift stores and surplus stores. We went to the mustard museum.  We also went to Dr Evermor's behind Delaney's Surplus. It really made me feel lazy. So many incredible assemblages made from found metal objects. Our whole trip made me miss the midwest. And before you ask, yes I did have cheese curds. No brats though. Saving that for another trip.

One last thing.  I hate flying.  Mostly because whenever there is turbulence Liz laughs her ass off and it makes everyone super nervous.  The flight wasn't too bad because they had biscoff cookies and our layover in Laguardia was full of ipads.