It’s a Wrap!

I have become increasingly concerned about the type of packaging that I use: getting through bubble wrap by the mile since I started selling my work.  In a recent accountability workshop for like minded creatives we talked about this and someone mentioned paper bubble wrap

I decided to trial it at the Contemporary Craft Fair in Bovey Tracey, Devon last week.  I bought the Rajapack EX MINI system which comes on a cardboard dispenser and also provides tissue paper to interleave with the packaging.  I also bought a big roll of string and some brown recycled paper bags.  The cardboard dispenser and was easy to set up.  It’s quite a small thing to transport, but as you pull  it from the dispenser the ‘bubble wrap’ cleverly expands into a honeycomb structure.

IMG_20190607_125257_710 The verdict?  The first couple of pieces that I pulled off the roll didn’t quite go according to plan – maybe the piece was too big; maybe trying to use the dispenser while it was on the floor, under a table, hidden by fabric impeded things; maybe it is always difficult until the dispenser is a little less full – but I was delighted to have found an alternative to plastic which works brilliantly to protect smaller pieces and the environment.  It looks good too and there is a weird satisfaction in the way it comes off the roll!  I think the jury is still out for larger works which I was less confident were adequately protected.

Given that my work is about the fragility of our landscape, it is vital for me to find a satisfactory solution to the wrapping of my work.  Not sure I’m all the way there yet but I am certainly feeling much happier.  And let’s face it, if we all do something isn’t that better than a few good people doing it perfectly?

Would you Like Chips with That?

For quite some time I have had a desire to ‘go large’ in the studio so when I saw a really enormous beach ball for sale in the village post office I simply couldn’t resist the temptation to make a really bit mould.  When I got it home, I discovered just how large it really was – maybe I need a bigger kiln!

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Houston, we have a problem!

In fact it isn’t TOO big.  Once I have done some manipulation of the clay and there has been a bit of shrinkage I am confident that my current kiln will be just fine.

The next thing to do was to create the mould from the shape.  As a general rule I would have built up the clay all the way to the mid point of the ball, constructed a wall around the entire thing and started pouring plaster of Paris until the cows came home.  If I had done that this time I would have used a ton of plaster of Paris and ended up with something so big and heavy I would never have been able to lift it so I thought I would go for something different.  The following images show the main stages:

 

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1. Make a clay barrier exactly on the mid line of the ball.
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2. pour a very thin layer of plaster of Paris over the whole of the top of the ball. (I made the plaster thicker than usual so that it didn’t run off.
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3. Put a collar on the outside of the clay wall and pour more plaster over tha ball, making sure that it filled the collar and was a fairly even thickness all over.

 

The result is that I now have a fabulously large mould.  It is light and easy to manoeuvre and I can’t wait for it to dry out fully so that I can get making.