Sunday, February 16, 2014

Pillow Vases II: Rosette

One of the reasons I wanted to investigate the "Pillow Vase" concept was because I was interested in a mostly-closed form that could be very stable and hold a fair amount of water, minimizing the necessity for refilling the reservoir. I also thought it might be worthwhile to develop a form having a low profile, making it more functional as a dinner table centerpiece - something that wouldn't necessarily interfere with guests' eye contact with one another. I also liked the idea that, in the case of the vases with a single large opening, a pin frog could be used as desired but wouldn't be necessary; once could cut the stems short and fit them tightly into the opening. I also felt that the pieces should be able to stand alone - without flowers - as objects of beauty in and of themselves.

Once the vase sections have dried enough to release from the molds, they're ready for assembly. In the case of the Tiny vases with the multiple openings (much like an old-fashioned pansy vase), I use a Kemper 1/4" Hole Cutter to create an array of 17 holes in the top of the vase, as seen in the piece at the far left of the photo to the left, before assembly. The array is cut entirely freehand but I'm usually able to eyeball it fairly well. I often use a large loop tool to clean up the inside of the top after cutting the openings.

I slip all the pre-scored cut edges of the sections and join tops to bottoms, sandwiching them together. I use a combination of a fairly soft rubber kidney and a metal kidney to marry the pieces to one another. I use an elephant ear sponge to clean the join and work out any inconsistencies.

When I made my Lace, Embossed Leaf or Striped Bowls, I noticed that they would often warp. This is not a problem with these pieces as the two sections hold one another in tension - I have never had one warp (yet!) By using fairly consistent slab thicknesses and joining them firmly together, they seem to stay true to form.

If the pieces are going to be plain, I set them to dry. If I'll be decorating them, I may set them aside to dry some more if they're too plastic such that they may deform in the application process. It's a fine line between being firm enough to not distort and being too dry to take the decoration successfully.

The Rosette pieces are decorated with rosettes cut using Kemper Klay Kutters 5/8 inch "Basic Shapes" set. I either slip the vase's entire top surface or score and slip each individual rosette as I apply it. I apply two to three graduated circles around the center opening (three on all but the Tiny vase with the pansy vase opening). I then set the pieces to dry.

No comments: