Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The Worker's Cup

I was on my feet for 8 hours today making these six cups.

They are stacked lip to lip to stop distortion, and save space. I like to say they're kissing, haha. You can't tell from the photos but the cups are actually lightly fluted, they're not a circle but a gentle octagon.

Each cup is cast in a three part mould consisting of 2 side pieces and a bottom containing the foot-ring. The handle is cast separately in a 2 part mould and then attached. I cast some of the handles hollow because I was concerned about weight and stability, but then I was concerned about them exploding in the kiln, so they have a little pinhole in them. 

This has been my first experience of carving and casting a handle. It was quite a journey! Carving the damn thing took around 6 or 7 hours to start with. It's difficult to know the limits of the plaster of Paris, I was constantly in fear of it snapping. If I had more time, I would go back and carve it further to see how refined I can go, but my assessment is on the 26th, so I don't think I quite have time.

The idea with the handle is that you rest your thumb on the top bump and your little finger on the bottom bump. I'm not sure the proportions are quite right, but it's impossible to tell until it's been fired because of shrinkage (and I have tiny hands, and I designed this cup for big burly men).

Why is it called the worker's cup? I don't really want to say because it's pretentious artschool bull, but the idea is I have 2 different cups, 1 representing the workers/dogsbodies/navvies, and one representing the fat cat/overseer/captain. It ties in with the steampunk stuff all this was originally based on. 
I'm thinking of stencilling something like "BOILER ROOM 3" on these, along with a logo I've designed for the made up "Global Steam" company. The more ornate cup would have a transfer printed logo, a latin motto "per deum et vapos obtinui" (through God and vapour [steam] I have obtained), and maybe some gilding.

That's if I find the time to finish the mould on the damn thing, and carve another handle. By next Thursday. Eek.

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