PLUM bowl is born!!! and will be presented tomorrow as my final project completing masters of design at UTS.

PLUM bowl is born!!! and will be presented tomorrow as my final project completing masters of design at UTS.

November 6, 2013

Plum bowl is made from paraffin including little sterling silver jewel and it comes in two sizes 28mm and 36mm in diameter.

Below you can read little bit about investigation of paraffin, which is almost at the end as the fully working prototype has been finalized. In past couple of weeks I have improved my casting technique resulting small changes leading to big progresses. Here are some examples:

One of the big details making difference is cleanliness. Even the smallest dust that finds its way into molten wax will appear as really filthy once paraffin is hardened. Special care needs to be taken when breaking 5Kg paraffin slabs into smaller pieces.

Other detail making shift was switching of ventilation when paraffin was cooling down. Snow flake effect within the material was still found, but not on such a large scale as before, when I have used the ventilation. I haven’t seek the proof, but it seems that the stress caused by rapid cooling increase appearance of those. I always thought that that is the way the paraffin comes.

Little shake of the mold after hot paraffin is poured in also helps to release any trapped air bubbles. This will result nicer, smoother finish.

Filling up the spherical lamp shade (my male die) with hot water prevents it from forced flotation on hot paraffin.

Until this moment I have been using vegetable oil as a release. This works fine, however, the oil causes discoloration of paraffin to yellow. It is not very attractive look. Therefore, I had to substitute the vegetable oil with silicon spray (commonly available lubricant). Silicon spray is clear and works well.

Securing female and male die in correct position also helps. In my case, I have made wooden box in order to secure mold in centre and to guarantee that any other piece reproduced will be as close to original one as possible.

Branding should always be considered. Once again, I have tried to stay true to my identity and sneak in at least little taste of my metalsmithing background. Have a look at the image demonstrating placement of my logo. You will see saw pierced sterling silver logo “pined” into the base of the paraffin fruit bowl.

Lastly, naming of this object had to be done. Due to the simple fact, that I am not being able to come up with any interesting names, I have asked for help from my friends. It was hard decision as lots of good suggestions came up. Nevertheless, PLUM, was so far the most interesting and memorable. So……plum it is!

Constant improving of the form, material and technique is unavoidable. Therefore, this is not the end, but rather the beginning. What comes next are market testings and some more progresses until it can be called fully developed. Stayed tuned for more updates until then check out my first fully working prototype bellow.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 bernadette November 6, 2013 at 10:05 pm

It’s so beautiful, Radka, good job! Really interesting to read about your processes + problem solving skills, you’re such a clever lady.

2 Danielle Butters December 14, 2013 at 5:16 pm

I love seeing your problem solving in action, Radka. The evolution of a product is fascinating to follow.

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