Friday, November 9, 2012

Death of a Die

 I learned the hard way that there is a reason why dies are almost always made out of metal. I had laser cut some shapes to try out in the extruder I have been making out of PVC pipe and lumber.

 It looked so promising... I loaded up the pipe with clay and pushed in the plunger. I heard a crack but I thought that it was only an air pocket in my pug of clay.

Lesson learned. Plexiglas is too brittle to withstand the extreme force of extrusion.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Extrusions 1

Many large-scale brickworks, Hanson included, use extrusion exclusively as the process of forming brick. I want to become more familiar with this process, which also takes advantage of the plastic properties of wet clay.

I started with a very small extruding gun, intended for polymer clay, and experimented with the force required and the behaviour of the clay. I found that extruding horizontally would create a curvature due to gravity, whose radius was proportional to the speed at which the clay was being extruded. By twisting the gun and extruding at different speeds, I created these curls.