Using balloons to make the base of functional ware.

The past few days I have been experimenting with using balloons as a base for making functional ware. 

1. Pouring slip on top of the balloon in stand: I have found that this method creates layers of slip which could be seen as an abstraction of the shoreline at the sea. This method captures the movement of slip and allows the material self creation that ties in well with the idea of ‘Wabi Sabi’. Alternatively, by pouring the slip on and then touching the clay and moving it around, adding more slip with my hands, I found that it created much harsher movements that were rather interesting. 

2. Dipping the balloon in the slip. This method is fantastic for creating a smooth surface, however it is also prone to allowing air bubbles to appear on the surface. Perhaps agitating the slip prior to dunking could resolve this problem, however it is proving time consuming and loud and I have not yet had the chance to do it for long enough as I do not want to distract my peers working in the same area. 

3. Papier-mâché: Using a almost water thin slip to mimic the effect of papier-mâché, The clay settling to the bottom of the bowl proved not a problem as when applying the strips of paper the water is constantly agitated. In fact, the collection of clay at the bottom of the bowl that appears after a couple of moments of the water being still has provided a great material to apply to the wet work after the layers of paper are applied with the finger tips, and is liquid enough to not produce finger prints or unwanted texture/detract from the texture of the paper underneath. Once fired, a see-through glaze can be applied to act a mimic of a top layer of PVA glue to real papier-mâché, providing extra strength. Another bonus of applying a see-through glaze is that it will make the object waterproof, allowing it to be utilized for drinking/eating. When applied thinner, this method could create beautiful candle holders as the thin porcelain should allow the light to travel through slightly, displaying the layers of paper. 
-Also tried changing consistency of slip to approximately the consistency of cream

Analysis: If the papier-mâché technique is successful after firing, I feel this is a method that links well to my project. Papier-mâché is a sculpting technique that I enjoyed practising as a child so using it now brings a fondness and nostalgia that is quite therapeutic. 


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