Clay Times Back Issues Vol. 21 Issue 99 - Winter/Spring 2015 - Page 24

Building the Gulf Breeze Arch Conclusion of a two-part step-by-step series on Architectural Ceramics BY PETER KING Draw Tool Box Building CLAYTIMES·COM n WINTER / SPRING 2015 To frame and refine the opening of the arch, we used our draw tool technique. I borrowed this from the plaster forming methods of the now almost extinct craft of formed-inplace plaster molding. I later found that a profiled draw tool was also used in industrial architectural ceramics long ago. To make a profile, we cut ¼" luan to the desired shape, and build up the area to be profiled with strips of slab. By making the built up areas only slightly thicker than the shape to be profiled, we can easily “draw” this down to the desired finished contours (Figs. 20- 21, opposite page). Tube Form Handbuilding a piece of pottery by wrapping a slab around a cardboard tube is something we all learn as beginners. We have created a system refining this technique to create all kinds of relief, but we use it primarily for building columns both freestanding and attached to a base slab. For the Gulf Breeze Arch we used it to create a live oak and a sabal palm (the state tree of Florida). Instead of cardboard tubes we use scraps or PVC pipe. Unlike cardboard, they can be reused indefinitely. We have numerous diameters, and we use the size we need for any given project. To make attached column shapes, in this case tree trunks, we drape a cut-to-width slab over a section of PVC pipe, elevate this by resting it on two strips of wood (2x4s work fine; Figs. 22-23), drop and remove Pictured above: front and back views of the completed Gulf Breeze Arch this pipe (Fig. 24), and replace it with a pipe of slightly smaller diameter. We carry this now semi-circular slab to our base slab, position it (Fig. 25), and remove the pipe. We affix these clay tubes to the base slab by thoroughly sewing and filling the seam. We then decorate this tube relief accordingly. In this case, we added pieces of slab to create the oak and palm tree surfaces. To create larger rectangular or irregular relief areas (in this case, a nesting turtle, waves, shells, and a sailing ship), we stand up walls on the base slab following the previously drawn lines. These slabs are also 1" thick and are precut to the width necessary to achieve the desired relief. When calculating this relief, we deduct the thickness of the 1" slab to be used to cap these walls and create the finished surface. When spanning areas larger than 3 or 4 inches, we install interior walls to support the top slab. All of these walls are thoroughly sewn together. The seams are filled using coils or strips of slab. The entire built-up surface is then scraped and smoothed (Figs. 26-32). Holes Such relief building creates hollow, enclosed spaces, so it’s important to make holes for the expanding steam to escape during the early heating phase of firing. This is when the clay is in its weakest state, and the heated steam is powerful. A needle tool hole will do, but we usually punch 1½" holes in the base slab using a scrap of sink drain pipe. These holes serve to create cement pegs when a piece is cemented to a wall (Fig. 33). Sprigging Press-Molded Relief For a number of years we only hand-worked the surfaces of our architectural projects, creating textures with lace, burlap, and pieces of clay stamps with scrapers. 24 text continued on page 26 Building the Gulf Breeze Arch Conclusion of a two-part step-by-step series on Architectural Ceramics BY PETER KING Draw Tool Box Building To frame and refine the opening of the arch, we used our draw tool technique. I borrowed this from the plaster forming methods of the now almost extinct craft of formed-inplace plaster molding. I later found that a profiled draw tool was also used in industrial architectural ceramics long ago. To make a profile, we cut ¼" luan to the desired shape, and build up the area to be profiled with strips of slab. By making the built up areas only slightly thicker than the shape to be profiled, we can easily “draw” this down to the desired finished contours (Figs. 2021, opposite page). To create larger rectangular or irregular relief areas (in this case, a nesting turtle, waves, shells, and a sailing ship), we stand up walls on the base slab following the previously drawn lines. These slabs are also 1" thick and are precut to the width necessary to achieve the desired relief. When calculating this relief, we deduct the thickness of the 1" slab to be used to cap these walls and create the finished surface. When spanning areas larger than 3 or 4 inches, we install interior walls to support the top slab. All of these walls are thoroughly sewn together. The seams are filled using coils or strips of slab. The entire built-up surface is then scraped and smoothed (Figs. 26-32). CLAYTIMES·COM n WINTER / SPRING 2015 Tube Form 24 Handbuilding a piece of pottery by wrapping a slab around a cardboard tube is something we all learn as beginners. We have created a system refining this technique to create all kinds of relief, but we use it primarily for building columns both freestanding and attached to a base slab. For the Gulf Breeze Arch we used it to create a live oak and a sabal palm (the state tree of Florida). Instead of cardboard tubes we use scraps or PVC pipe. Unlike cardboard, they can be reused indefinitely. We have numerous diameters, and we use the size we need for any given project. To make attached column shapes, in this case tree trunks, we drape a cut-to-width slab over a section of PVC pipe, elevate this by resting it on two strips of wood (2x4s work fine; Figs. 22-23), drop and remove Holes Pictured above: front and back views of the completed Gulf Breeze Arch this pipe (Fig. 24), and replace it with a pipe of slightly smaller diameter. We carry this now semi-circular slab to our base slab, position it (Fig. 25), and remove the pipe. We affix these clay tubes to the base slab by thoroughly sewing and filling the seam. We then decorate this tube relief accordingly. In this case, we added pieces of slab to create the oak and palm tree surfaces. Such relief building creates hollow, enclosed spaces, so it’s important to make holes for t ѕѼ͍ɥѡ)ɱ䁡ѥ͔ɥQ)́ݡѡ䁥́́ݕЁхєѡѕѕ)ݕəհѽݥ)ЁݔՅչ 􈁡́)ѡ͔ͱ͍ͥɅͥ)ɅQ͔͕́ٔѼ)ɕєЁ́ݡ)ѕѼ̤݅)MɥAɕ̵5I)ȁյȁ啅́ݔ)ݽɭѡə́)ɍѕɅɽ̰ɕѥ)ѕɕ́ݥѠɱ)́х́ݥѠ͍Ʌ̸)ѕЁѥՕ((