Now that all of the students are gone and we are in a holding pattern until we leave for the holiday I have a lot of time to make things. I have a obsession with forging right now. Silver is soooooo cheap it is hard to resist banging out a spoon. Earlier in the semester I made a spoon mold and had not yet bought enough silver to test it. I have to say that once you get a proper pour it works like a dream. It requires some serious heat. The mold had to be pre-heated with an oxy/acetylene torch. It is 1/4" plate steel so getting the hot metal to pour down into the bottom was troublesome. I had to pour a couple times before I worked. I need to flip the mold so the large "bowl" part of the ingot it up. Just a few process shots. I actually have made three "spoons" in the last three days. Well one spoon and two silver shovels.
So many exciting things happening here at the end of the semester. First, my metals students knocked it out of the park! I am so happy with their final casting projects. Second, I have been making some breakthroughs in my studio. I did this at Haystack a while back but I wanted to push it further. I was asked to participate in a Holiday sale so it was the perfect excuse to test this process more. Basically, I laser etch the enamel and then use the "trench" of the engraving as a barrier for painting on an overglaze. I use a 00 red sable brush and a visor to put it on.
The real jewel in the crown of the semester for me has been discovering a GIANT fabrication center at Appstate. I have been put to task to develop curriculum to somehow incorporate all of this equipment into classes. HAH! I don't think I will have a problem with that. The only real problem is deciding what to do first.
I was blown away with everything this place had. From CNC to 3D printing it pretty much had it all. Honestly, for the first time in a long while I am not sure what I would do with it. They had injection molders, ultrasonic welders, 3D scanning arms, Haas CNC lathes and mills, a wood shop. A CNC router with a 10 bit tool changer. It is bonkers! So much stuff. It is amazing.