I have used a hand press for a home made tile air release system. The hydrocal should be fine but if you wanted a little softer die then add about 25 % plaster to the hydrocal. Hobbylobby should have some silicone rubber for the masters.
If you need another source, give Rampress a call and find out what they recommend.
Therefore I am a brain surgeon, what ever I wish to be, but does the outside world agree?
In the movie example:
Mel Gibson has a good line in the Expendables 3 movie; he is observing a painting in a gallery, in a discussion with the gallery owner as the owner's assistant looks on. It is of an abstracted American flag. Mel's character says something like, "Look at this. It's just some paint, brush strokes on a cheap canvas, What do you want for it." "3 mil." "Done." Assistant grins ear to ear. Could be, that ARt is what the money says it is, & everybody follows.
For a certain segment of the population, this is entirely true, which argues for my previous point that in an affluent and segmented society, art is what that group says is art or values, morels, etc.
Thre is a very good definition that states, "all art is regional", which could imply geographic,social,ethnic, economic, etc regions.
So is there crossover between the production region and the academic region, the studio regions, of course but there are those that try and protect their regions.
Ah, I love it. Art explains quantum physics, I can see that on several levels.
Now in the above example, the painting is simply a painting, everyone acting or reacting are outside the painting . Without interpretation or really translation, art is a hidden language known only to the artist. How many times have we all seen someone wax poetically over a painting, sculpture or other, only to learn the artist created it is an altered state, not connected to the viewers interpretation .
Did Jackson Pollack commit suicide because he saw his life's work as drivel, as a con game on himself?
If we go back to primitive ceramics, where group survival was dependent on function and quality, the potter also embellished the forms for both personal pride and community cohesion.
It may well be when a society is not as affluent as ours and more interdependent on each other and the land, the art has a closer connection to the people it serves.
Though I'm not that familiar with the Japanese tea ceremonies, there seems to be a need to help tie generations and tradition together so an identity won't be lost.
Since we have such an affluent and diverse culture, the fragmentation of art seems a natural progression where movements/trends in art can be transitory.
Limited as I am, I am a production potter. As Patsu mentioned, I find the tactile responses from my work by those who use them, is one of the most satisfying returns to me of my work.
Knowing that everyday folks enjoy my pottery, gives me the energy to return to the wheel.
Tony Clennell recently was a judge in a dinnerware show in Pa, I believe. In his blog, he mentioned the piece that he also purchased as one that gave him a comfortable form.
So are we, as potters, driven to make forms that satisfy our own nature, Tony Clennell seemed to express this in his blogs.
"Art" seems to be a definition label imposed by others to satisfy some internal rational to a undefinable creative experience that they view but don't participate in, nothing wrong with that as well.
Some time ago I was watching an English cooking show where the fellow was using a bowl glazed with a white glaze that had crackled with age and decorated with simple cobalt blue "X's" along the rim, it was outstanding.
All of this and more has led me to explore the relationships of potter,consumer, critic, and art from the gallery to everyday life.
Good discussion, I hope others with join in as well.