Sunday, April 3, 2016

Extruder Project Analysis

In order to use the extruder for creating a successful project, you need to work with smooth clay that has been wedged well. If it has been around awhile and seems a little bit stiff, then it may be harder to use it in the extruder. On the other hand, if it’s a new, fresh clay, then you could extrude it out, but it would be better to let that piece dry for 1 class and use it for next class. First, you have the choose the shape you want to extrude, and then insert that on the bottom of the extruder. Once that’s all set, all you need to do is put your kneaded clay inside, and push the handle standing directly in front with the center of your chest. Something that may be challenging is that the extrusion never comes out straight. Thus, your “partner” or person that’s beside you may need to make sure that the extrusion is straight using his/her hands. Then, all you have to do is wire the amount you want and work with it!
Moving on, for the extruder project, Luana and I decided to work together on a project. Our ideas were very different, but we somehow managed to include all the ideas we wanted to. For example, Luana’s idea was to make a caterpillar using the extruder, while I wanted to make a teapot. Then, to join those two ideas, we decided to go for an Alice and Wonderland theme as there’s a caterpillar there, and the teapot that Madhatter uses. Not only that, but we wanted it to be funky, and very random-like, without a certain kind of theme. However, since making just a teapot wouldn’t be challenging and quite easy to do, we decided to include different shapes for the layers. 
Different shapes we incorporated.
After this, we filled in the holes
and it looked much better. 
This would enable us to use the extruder more since we need variety of shapes. Furthermore, the pattern/theme we wanted to have was forest like where there were vines, leaves, flowers, and insects involved to this piece. In order to do this, our original idea was to just have the caterpillar around the teapot, but then, we decided to use the caterpillar as the “mouth” of the teacup. So, it would be like the tea/water coming out of the caterpillar’s mouth. Interesting, right? Not only that, but we also decided to make a cup with the same theme so that it could be like a little set.
Small cup we made to make a set of the
Alice and Wonderland Theme. 
In the beginning, we started out with the base of the teapot. Our first shape was a big square so that it would be sturdy, and strong. Then, we continued on with a star shape. Since there were no extruder that had the shapes we wanted to (it was too small), we extruded square pieces and cut the sides so that we could design what we wanted to make. Then, with the cut clay, we could blend and put the pieces together to make it into a certain shape. In this case, it would be the star. The thing about this was, because the shape wasn’t made by the extruder but with us cutting and “sculpting” it, the shape didn’t come out too perfect. However, we decided to keep it like that since it was more unique and added onto our funky idea. After that, we made a flower shape by extruding circular shapes and cutting the shape in half. Just like the star, we assembled them how we wanted to. The same went for the last layer which was a clover shape. Our project took a longer time than we expected, because these shapes took a very long time to blend, and cutting them was not an easy work. Not only that, but because these pieces were all different, when we put them together to make a teapot, there were many holes. An idea Ms.Ariani suggested was to make it into a candle holder as the light from the fire would brighten up in the inside and go through the holes. We liked that idea, but just decided to stick with what we had in mind. In order to fix this problem, we just decided to close all the holes using clay, and we were extremely happy with the result because it looked much better afterwards. As for the caterpillar, we extruded a circular piece, and Luana made the hair by make small coils and cutting them.
Hair of the caterpillar
She would cut the small coil into several pieces and stick them onto the caterpillar. Then, with that thick coil, she divided it into four pieces and separated them so that it looked more “furry.” The cup didn’t take too long as we only had to extrude one thick piece and add a base as well as the handle. We got the leftover extruded piece from Silvia and just cut it into a cup shape. Then, we added the base using the slab roller, and added the handles. However, the decoration was the most tedious part as there were many small details. Yet, we still managed to finish them and made them look the way we wanted to.
As a result, we really liked how our teapot came out and still had to stay after school, and during flex in order to finish our decorations. Another part that is worrying me about this project is how we have to paint this piece, and how long that will take as there are numerous tiny “ornaments.”
What we planned to represent with our project was the randomness of it. We really wanted to make it feel like a fantasy sculpture as many of the others we saw were “formal” like. Thus, that’s why we liked the idea of Alice and Wonderland theme because there are many weird creatures and objects shown. My partner and I haven’t really thought of the title of the project, however, I would name it “Would You like Some Drink?” said with a British accent. The caterpillar in the teapot would be the one saying it! We were able to develop the design as planned, although the caterpillar didn’t really look like a caterpillar. If I put it that way, the teapot didn’t really look like a teapot either! However, in order to change the looks a little bit,
Making the body of the caterpillar thinner and blending it.
I would have made the caterpillar even thinner, and the hair strands way thinner. Yet, even though the hair strands were quite thick, it was extremely hard to work with it, so I can’t imagine making even thinner hair strands and blending them! What we changed in the middle of the process was making a cup since it wasn’t really what we were planning to do. Not only that, but we changed the position of the caterpillar several times so that it would fit and look nice as a whole. Finding the position was tedious as we had made them separately.
During the process of making, we found several challenges, and resolutions to solve this problem. First, was making the shapes for the teapot as we didn’t use any of the actual shape of the extruder. What we always did was somehow think of an idea of a shape and try to make it that way by cutting the other shapes. Thus, coming up with new ideas were hard. What we did in order to solve this problem was, to be honest just playing with it. We just cut the shapes we wanted and joined them however we wanted to them to look. Secondly, another problem we faced was when we had to blend all the decorations. Because we were late and behind, we simply did not have time to blend all those small details. Thus, what we did was press it hard and use the tool to really stick them with each other. Hopefully, nothing falls during the process of drying and firing, but Ms.Ariani said that they might. This was a problem that we could’ve controlled, but due to time constraints, we couldn’t really do anything. Thirdly, another challenge we had faced as wrapping up our sculptures. What was really hard was that there were hair for the caterpillar, so when we tried to cover it with  plastic to avoid it from drying fast. However, the hair from the caterpillar kept falling out. I really didn’t want to involve because I knew how long i t took to make this, so I didn’t want to ruin his feelings. Also, for the caterpillar, when we extruded a round piece for the body, it was too thick that it didn’t really seem like a caterpillar’s body. Thus, we didn’t realy know what to do, and thought of an idea of just making a coil for the caterpillar. However, Ms.Ariani showed us a great “trick” of how we could make it smaller and thinner. We were able to make it a lot much thinner, but I still kind of want to make a
As for now, I can’t really think of any difficulties. I feel like we had less since we were working in a partner and could fix it up easily by helping each other. We both worked on what we were best at, and so there weren’t many obstacles we encountered exact for the usage of time.

Ideas for shapes for the teapot

We just played around with the extruded clay until we got the shape we were pleased with.

Blending the tiny coils for the strips of vines were so hard that it was nearly impossible. Not only that, but there were numerous of them for the decorations, and so if we were to blend them, it would be days. Therefore, we couldn’t really blend them, but in order to avoid breaking, we just made sure that it was stuck to the clay.

As mentioned before, working with the caterpillar was quite hard because it had so much hair to work with. My friend, Luana was working mostly on the caterpillar, and by what I could see, there were a lot to do. Not only that, but a mistake we made was making it separately, so once both were done, we had to find a position that suited the teapot well. Our original plan was to leave it curling up on the teapot, and then just standing, and later on, we just decided to let it as the “mouth” of the teapot. Not only that, but because the hair of the caterpillar was super fragile it was extremely hard to seal it with the plastic bag as it could easily break.

Overall, I am satisfied with the result and I really like the decorations and the hard effort we put into this piece (even though it may not look like that). I believe that we really stepped out of the box and instead of making traditional projects, we made a very different looking one with creatures involved.

Back view of our project.
The caterpillar looks like a hedgehog here. 
Front view of our project! 

1 comment:

  1. Dear Seo Hyun,
    What a great description of your process and analysis of your results. Your project is certainly unique and creative! You both worked very hard on it, especially on the little details, and I think that it was really positive that you did not give up on your original idea and were able to overcome the challenges that you faced during the process.
    I agree that the glazing/decoration part can be another challenge if you want every little detail to stand out, but I think that working with a partner will make it easier. Remember to be carefull when doing it as there are many fragile parts. You and Luana worked very well as a team, respecting and listening to each other, as well as braisntorming for possible solutions. Well done!

    Looking forward to seeing it fired and decorated!