Monday, February 25, 2008

Blood Diamonds Project Sketch

Blood Diamonds Visual Map Focused Ideas

Blood Diamonds Visual Map

Dave Grohl Podcast

Dave Grohl, from Foo Fighters, is interviewed and several songs from their new album is played on the air. I enjoy older Foo Fighters songs, as well as listened to Nirvana in my teen years, but was not crazy about the last Foo Fighters album. Liking some of the songs played on the 'Fresh Air' Podcast, from the new album, I also learned alot of new things about Dave Grohl himself. A multi-talented musician, artist, and poet he is and, as I highly believe in music as an inspirational tool, I think Dave had much to contribute to this art form and has changed many lives. I thought it was great how those miners were near-death and requested their music to get them through their frightening experience. Dave explains how he overcame much pain and many struggles to eventually make it big doing something he absolutely loved. Exposing his child to music at a young age is smart--he sings familiar words for her to sing along to, trying to divert her attention away from the television and into a more unique learning experience through song. In conclusion, Dave Grohl reminded me to keep using music as an inspiring resource and always aim high in your life's goals and dreams.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Assigned Reading-McCreight Ch. 3 Investment

Investment-'to cloth, cloak or surround (Latin root)
Can withstand high burnout temps.
Made of gypsum-a white mineral, calcium sulfate, responsible for the hardening of the plaster; silica-white and colorless mineral, quartz, to cushion while expansion and contraction (this is the main material that is harmful to breath in (wear a respirator) ; cristobalite-pure silica, enables to withstand the high temps. Some investments contain fiberglass for strengthening.

Store in resealable bag to avoid being exposed to moisture--use within 6 months or less.
If you suspect it has been exposed to moisture, measure it against some investment you know is fresh. (throw out if its more than 20% heavier than the new)

Never pour investment down the drain and use rubber mixing tools that the investment will easily crack off of to be thrown out.

When mixing, you want to get a proper ratio between powder and water, mix it evenly, make sure there are no air bubbles, and do it within a specific amount of time.

Before mixing, make sure the model is clean, renove all dry investment from flask and mixing container, check to make sure the the fit is watertight, make sure the sprue is in tact, paint the model with debubblizer-denatured alcohol can work too but a debubblizer is not neccessary.

Investment has a working time of about 9 1/2 minutes. Hardening too slow will not give the investment time to properly settle around the mold. Hardening too fast will cause the investment to separate and bubble.

Use water of consistent temps.

Mix investment in a ratio of 38-40 parts of water to every 100 parts of powder by weight. Always add powder to water and not visa versa. Mix for about 4 minutes. Consistency should be a little thinner than sour cream.

A vacuum machine can be used to shake out air bubbles. Prepare this ahead of mixing. Tape a piece of paper to the top of the flask to catch any investment that might spill out while in the vacuum. Bubbles can also be vibrated out by a massager.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Assigned Reading-McCreight Ch. 2 Sprues

A rod that supports the model while making the mold; provides passageway for wax to leave; entrance for molten metal; positions the model
Round soft wax wire is preferred for the sprue.
Plastic sprues are not recommended.
Attach to the thickest section of the model; where they cannot damage surface texture and can be easily removed.

Leave 3/8" clearance on all sides of the flask; for several models leave 1/8" between them; leave 1/2" between model and investment.
Try to get your model situated to flow completely downstream to avoid air bubbles and backflow.

As metal cools in contracts.
To avoid pits make sure to attach the sprue at the thickest portion and make sure there is enough molten metal supplied.
Choose a flask just the right size--too small can cause it to burst and too large is wasteful.

Attaching Sprues
Use a sprue wax slightly heavier than the average section of the piece.
Heat the wire and lower to attachment site--hold there until it hardens; check the joints and trim the wire if needed.

Enlarge mass and round off opening at joint for smoother flow.
To thicken, heat needle with wax and drop off at joint.
Electric wax pens work well for this.

Determining amount of metal needed
Weighing-calculate ratio between gravity and weight of the model and the metal being used.
*Multiply weight x gravity of metal*
Use pennyweight or gram scale.
Weigh model with sprues.
If scale is not available, use the water displacement method (not as accurate)
Submerge wax in jar filled with water; mark how high the water rises with wax; take out wax; add metal until reaching the same point and maybe add a little more for the button.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Art of Innovation-Chapter 6

'Prototyping is problem solving...' That pretty much sums up the focus in Chapter 6 of 'The Art of Innovation'. It is encouraged that you jump right in and from one prototype make another that is even better. I like that idea. The 'build to learn' technique is something I am very fond of. Personally I can understand something and how it will work by molding with clay or a maquette. IDEO is expressing how many times it has worked for their team when they need to figure out how a mechanism will perform or be controlled. Take chances. The story about how the dot-com company started was inspiring. I did not know it all began by taking chances. I agree that models are tangeable and are more convincing than flat drawings. It makes since to throw the bad ideas on the table first. If ideas arent coming to you and all you have are ones you may not love, getting it out in the open allows room for others criticism which might help you make the next idea better. It is inspiring to hear how all the big companies 'got big'.

Art of Innovation-Chapter 4

Chapter 4 in 'The Art of Innovation' is on brainstorming. I have to admit I had not looked at this subject the same as I do now after reading the literature. I see how important it is to observe everyday people and events and how we interact with them. It is important to stay up to date with what is going on in the world around us. When it comes to brainstorming--don't take notes on every word but highlight important ideas. Contribute as a group and don't be afraid to voice your opinion even if you doubt it a little. Be playful and visual. A physical example is better than one just in words. Help the group visualize your ideas so they can add advice more efficiently. Warmups are not a bad idea as long as they are quick and highly energetic. Sketches and diagrams are also ok. Try to stay away from negativity. I personally wasn't sure what to expect from the brainstorming sessions we had last week, but once the group got going some really wonderful things occurred and much was accomplished. I am reviewing my own ideas in a different fashion and am not afraid to speak out or ask for assistance.

Skills List

Current Skills
riveting-basic, tube, spacer, flush, nail head
liver of sulphur patina
dap forming
MIG welding
small scale steel welding
plasma cutter
solder inlay
lamentation inlay
roll printing
sweat soldering
basic enameling
medium-scale glassblowing
pop-up technology
chain-making-sailor's chain
cold forging-aluminum, silver
hot forging-steel
hammer texture
stamping texture
etching silver/copper
stained glass
bezel setting stone
soft crystaline wax
hard wax working

Future Goals
lampworking glass beads
diamond/gemstone identification certification
various patinas
various stone setting techniques
chain-making-chainmaille, double loop in loop, etc.
casting-silver, resin

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Blood Diamonds Imagery

I thought I would look up bullets because of the relationship of the diamond craze serving as ammunition or 'fuel' for war. It turns out there are some really lovely shapes accompanying the bullet image. I was considering making a bullet referenced neckpiece with a noose going through it and also binding the hands, touching on the slavery issue--maybe with some interlocking wrist braces.

Kimberlite Pipe
I think the kimberlite pipe is an interesting scientific discovery--I just havent found a way to tie it into a project idea. The only thing I could come up with was veins erupting with diamonds....

There are some nice patterns and shapes happening here.

Mining Carts

I like the antiquity to these old mining carts. The first one looks secretive because of the trunk-like shape to it. The various gears and wheels in the second one are nice, just not sure how I would work these into a piece yet.

I noticed toward the end the claw-like prosthetic hands that one of the blood diamond victims had been given so they could take voice in politics again and live a more normal life. I wouldnt want to use this image so representationally but thought about what something other than an arm or a hand might look like amputated.

Scar Tissue
In researching scars I decided to investigate a more dramatic type of scar--a keloid. Keloids are overgrown scar tissues that have regrown abnormally outside the boundary of the original wound. I like the imagery here in that they are 'deeper' scars so to speak. Something more unforgettable. I would like to use this as texture detail in my piece.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

'Green' Materials

I will come back to this...

Second life

I started reading a little on this but am still unsure how I feel. There are probably other computer programs I would rather get into...I like Rhino so far. I know they are both very different but I can only dedicate so much time to a computer screen.

Ideas for historical study on jewelry

Id like to investigate filigree's past in relation to jewelry as well as incorporating it and new stone-setting skills into the studio piece.

I would also maybe like to research the history of a specific stone and design a project using that.


Lapis Lazuli

Monday, February 4, 2008

Assigned Reading--McCreight Ch. 1-Models

An ingot mold became an object mold--discovered was that an almost complete form could be poured.

China-->7000 years ago-->Egyptians-->Greeks-->500BC (blast furnace)-->Indust. Revolution

Mold-the negative impression into which a softened material is pressed, poured, or injected to acheive a specific shape

The melting point of the material restricts the choice of mold.

Piece Molds-can be separated and consist usually of only two pieces.

Waste Molds-made in one piece then broken to relieve the piece being cast and only used once.

Lost Wax Process

1. wax model

2. mount wax model on a sprue (wax rod)

3. mount in base fitted with a flask (watertight open-ended cylinder)

4. investment (plaster) is poured into flask; remove air bubbles

5. when investment dries, burn out model in kiln

6. pour molten metal while model is still warm

7. cool; quench in water; break open mold

Only melt wax in a double boiler to avoid it reaching its flash point and catch on fire.

Wax expands as it melts.

Waxes-beeswax, carnuba, candelilla, ceresin, ozenite, synthetic.

Resins-damar, balsam, kauri copal, shellac, rosin (all tree saps)

Fillers-talc, starch, chalk, soapstone, pumice, wood flour

Liquidus point-point at which wax melts

Solidus point-point at which wax hardens

Plastic range-an inbetween state at which the wax is easily worked

Carving wax-hard; made to be worked reductively or subtractively

To bond two pieces of wax together, both points of contact must be molten.

Best to use a spiral saw blade to cut wax-cut outside of the intended design.

It is better to dedicate separate tools for metal and wax.

Best to use a saw blade, then file, then use scraping as a technique (dental tools work well)

The metal (final product) will weight between 10 and 20 times the wax model, so don't hesitate to make the model thin. The mass can be reduced by scraping or hollowing out some sections.

Pieces of wax can be reused as long as they are not contaminated.

Denatured alcohol or Lamp fuel are the only fuels to be used for this kind of wax working.

Soldering irons with a dimmer switch are good replacements for electric wax pens and offer much control.

Make etchings to press hot wax into, through a vice, to produce an imprint.

Files, sandpaper, and steel wool are inappropriate finishing tools for modeling wax.

Dripping wax will produce interesting shapes and effects.

Pressing forms into clay, then filling them with hot wax will also make interesting shapes. Use potter's clay or any clay mixed with water. Modeling clay will melt when hot wax is poured over it.