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Showing posts from November 4, 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.

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.