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Balloons As Sphere Molds


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#21 stephsteph

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 10:32 PM

as long as we are talking balloons...

once i made some pieces by filling balloons with water, tied them, draped slabs around them, then put the whole combo into a net bag, the kind that onions or old style sausages come in..thin plastic netting. i tied off the netting with some cord and suspended the clay/water balloon/netted forms from a low hanging tree limb (i was working outside)

then i paddled them to smoth the seams and impress the net texture and experimented with tying the forms with cord, cinching them here and there, and let them dry to leather hard. removed the cord, the net bag, pierced the aballoon to pour out the water. i ended up with some pretty cool organic shapes which were salt fired. i believe i used porcelain with fiber content for the clay.

 

i wanted to experiment with a different way of making forms. The idea of working on a suspended form rather than a one  built up from a surface intrigued me. plus it was just kind of fun playing with the balloons on a nice summer day. they did look like odd fruits or ausages curing out there on the tree.


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#22 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 01:37 PM

WD 40 although it stinks.

What do you mean it stinks? I use it as an deodorant and aftershave!  WD 40 has saved me marriage 6 times and helped me sell 9 used cars.

it is a petrol chemical and is discouraged for use in the classroom.
Marcia

#23 hellodas

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 10:34 PM

If you are good at throwing on the wheel:

Another option is to throw two halves on bats then join together to make a sphere.

Bats make it easy to handle the two halves. I made perfect 6-12 inch diameter clay balls this way.

 

Das, Australia.

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#24 tjbanjo

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 03:36 AM

No. Just fill with plaster to the desired size and tie a knot.
Chris, if you plan to cast a form from the positive form, then yes, use should use a mold release of some type, WD 40, oil, vaseline, etc.
I have cast many different materials for forms and sprigs. Brushing a light coat of cooking oil of. Mineral oil
On details wooden objects worked without any problems.

Marcia

So, you're saying here to fill the balloon with plaster? Once it dried, it would make a balloon-shaped hump mold, which would be cool.

Also, if you're using a condom to create a mold, you shouldn't use WD40 or oil as a release agent.

You should use KY Jelly. :rolleyes:

Sorry, somebody had to say it.


Bob

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#25 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 04:10 AM

I never said to use a balloon for plaster. They are weaker than condoms which are stronger.
Ky may work. Never used it as a mold release.
Marcia
Maybe this should have been a continuation on alternative use of tools

#26 tjbanjo

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 12:06 AM

I guess I missed something there - to what were you referring when you said to "Just fill with plaster to the desired size and tie a knot"?

 

The KY suggestion was obviously meant in jest.

 

Here's a picture from Pinterest showing the use of balloons as a form.

http://media-cache-a...49c409a0da9.jpg

8e1134d5dc1f45ba95f9b49c409a0da9.jpg


Bob

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

#27 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 02:56 AM

I guess I missed something here too? I usually make nag active molds. So the plaster form made from balloons or condoms would become the object cast into a negative because obviously, the tie from either form interferes with the final sphere to be complete.
I followed the presumption of a negative mold as the objective.Apparently so did others, when we start talking slip molds.


marcia

#28 tjbanjo

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 08:40 AM

The slip molds I get. I guess because you said to, "fill with plaster to the desired size and tie a knot," I thought you were saying to fill the balloon with plaster and tie it off.


Bob

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

#29 Chris Campbell

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 10:48 AM

Also, this image illustrates why you don't completely fill the balloon ...

you should always leave some room in the neck of the balloon... then as the form dries the pressure has somewhere to go and your clay wont split like that.


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#30 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 02:29 PM

The slip molds I get. I guess because you said to, "fill with plaster to the desired size and tie a knot," I thought you were saying to fill the balloon with plaster and tie it off.


That is exactly what I was saying...but unlike Chris who uses the balloon as a positive mold, I would then cast a two piece negative mold from the positive balloon or condum form. That is just how I work.

#31 tjbanjo

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 09:34 PM

Got it. Thanks.


Bob

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

#32 thefamilystone

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 01:12 AM

Howdy folks...


Ive only recently joined the site, and came across this forum topic. Thought I might have some useful ideas to contribute.


I am very new to the art of pottery and always searching for new ways to overcome any deficiencies in my skill level. In this case...how to make a spherical pot even though I havent yet mastered how to do it on the wheel.


Me and some other...newbies... in my class came up with a method that seems to work quite well and quite consistently. Instead of balloons which have a very thin rubber wall we use, for lack of a better name...DODGE BALLS. Which have a considerably thicker wall, it allows the artist to be a bit more heavy-handed while forming clay over its shape. Dodge balls also have a convenient inflation/deflation process. You can use the same type of airpump (with a needle) that is used to inflate footballs, basketballs or soccer balls (cost about 5 dollars at Walmart).


Our little method is quite simple since it is possible to either use coils to cover the ball or you can build it up from small portions of clay or small slabs joined together. Just be sure that the inflation/deflation hole of the ball is facing upward when you begin. Then once youve built the sphere pot, smoothed it out a little bit, built a flat base/bottom/foot and the clay gets to a point where the pot can support its own weight. Use the pumps needle to deflate the ball. Carefully of course, because you will need to reach inside (with your fingers)and squeeze enough air out of the ball to allow it to be pulled free thru the narrow opening at the top.


One note of caution. It is not recommended to allow the clay to dry and contract with the ball fully inflated inside. More than likely your pot will crack. But if the walls of your clay pot are kinda thin and you think they might need a bit of extra support you might try releasing some but not all air from the ball. In this way your thin walled pot gets a bit of extra support while drying without so much outward pressure from the ball.

...and by the way. Unless you feel the need, you dont have to go to the sporting goods store and pay their prices for dodge balls. Me and my friends have been purchasing them from the DOLLAR STORE. At the dollar store or toy stores you most likely will find varying sizes too.


I hope this helps!


CHEERS...everyone!

#33 Evelyne Schoenmann

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 10:14 AM

Hi and welcome to the forum thefamilystone. Thank you for sharing your ideas. Hope you will stay with us. See you around....


Evelyne Schoenmann
Studio: schoenmann ceramics
In love with alternative firing methods
www.schoenmann-ceramics.ch





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