Thursday, February 26, 2009

Glass department

This is the glass piece I found on the floor at the Glass department.
I assume one of the students threw away, but I was really interested in its follow form and texture on the surface. It was beautiful to me so that I took it back to my studio. Glass is made out of mainly silicca and other components such as sodium carbonate. When it is cold, it gets hard and brittle and the color looks transparent because of the low temperature and the surrounding pressure. When it is in high temperature, it gets melted and its color observe the frame color inside the kiln and looks orange-yellow. Glass is also non-electroconductivity. According to our reading, glass is an amorphous non-crystalline structure linked by covalent bonds.

This is the safety eyeglasses when people are doing hot glass. Since the heat and bright color radiating from the hot glass is extremely strong, people have to protect their eyes. This includes silicote-1 scratch resistant, silicote-6 chemical resistant, clear UV absorbing, X-3 antifog, and metalized heat reflective. This composite materials are intended for high-performance applications where their properties are engineered for specific purposes. By wearing it, people are able to work whole day without any uncomfortableness.

This is the plaster mold I found in the basement of the metcalf building. Usually plaster is sold in the form of dry powder. When it is mixed with water, it re-forms into a paste phase which liberates heat and hardens. Plaster expands while hardening, then contracts slightly just before hardening completely. Dislocation at the micro-scale level might be happening and it allows moving freely and stays ductile. Unlike cement, plaster remains quite soft after drying, and can be easily manipulated with metal tools or even sandpaper. This makes plaster excellent for use in molds, and it is often used as an artistic material for casting. Plaster might be suitable for a finishing, rather than a load-bearing material. After the plaster mold gets hardens, hot melting glass is ready to pour.

This is the alginate mold for cold glass casting. It is a viscous gum. It ranges from white to yellowish-brown, and takes granular and powdered forms. Because its structure is a linear copolymer, like plaster, it also has dislocations quality. Alginate is originally used for dentistry mold making. When it is mixed with water, it absorbs water quickly and gets solid, but keeps moisture in it, like really dry version of pudding. It provides highly details of objects you chose. The picture above is one of my experimentation with alginate mold. I inserted my finger and got really high quality of details in wax.

This is my hand out of the paraffin wax. I created it using alginate mold. After alginate gets solid. I poured the melting paraffin wax. Paraffin wax is sold in a solid form but when it is in a high temperature, it loosese its tension and becomes a liquid so that I can pour it into the mold. According to Wikipedia, it says "Paraffin wax (or simply "paraffin", but see alternative name for kerosene, above) is mostly found as a white, odorless, tasteless, waxy solid, with a typical melting point between about 47 °C to 64 °C ( 116.6°F to 147.2°F), and having a density of around 0.9 g/cm3.

It was really fun to look at things in a microscale level. I would like to continue on practicing in this way.

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