- Design|Process Portfolio
A summary of procedure used in my studio practice
- This series begins with a collection of short photo essays describing techniques and processes that I use in the studio. It is not intended to be all-inclusive but simply to provide examples of how I approach my work.
- Rotational casting
The rotational casting process is similar to a traditional slip casting except that the randomized motion designed to evenly coat the inner surface of the mold with the casting material has been mechanized. Two axes are arranged at right angles and so that one rotates within the other. With each axis running at slightly different speeds, a fairly random motion is produced that helps prevent any pooling or repeated pattern flows of the material as it cures and hardens. Unlike slip casting, a measure amount of material is poured into the mold at the beginning of the cycle all of which cures to form the final casting.
- Urethane casting
This is the traditional poured casting method in which the material (urethane resin in this case) is poured into a prepared mold using techniques intended to prevent the formation of bubbles or voids in the final casting. In this particular project, there were various inserts required to provide mechanical mounting locations in the final casting. A semi-transparent silicone mold material was used to facilitate the accurate initial cutting of the mold and the subsequent management of the inserts.
- Composites fabrication
Various traditional composites fabrication techniques are employed including this variation on the standard hand layup process. This silicone skin mold is easier to part from the completed work than a typical composite mold structure. A composite mother mold provides rigid support to the silicone mold during the laminating process.
This sequence illustrates the making of a "shade" component for the Samurai luminaire.
- Non-comforming die press work
An interesting sheet metal forming process common to the jewelry trade is used to make formed metal parts. A simple hydraulic press is used to press a hard die into a medium durometer (flexible) urethane material with the sheet work piece sandwiched in between. Since there is no mirror image die used in the process, it is referred to as a non-comforming die procedure. A rigid containment vessel is key to the procedure. Since the flexible urethane in the containment vessel is relatively non-compressible, when the assembly is put under pressure, the utethane flows into the die cavity taking the metal along with it. Depending upon the particular metal in use, a series of annealing steps may be required to complete the form without cracking it due to work-hardening.
- Milling Machine Operations
Standard machine shop techniques in use include working with a milling machine. The shop relies upon a Swiss-made Aciera universal mill. Unlike the typical Bridgeport pattern mills common in the U.S.A., this machine features a layout typical of machines produced in Europe. The basic machine is a horizontal mill with drive motor in the base and a two axis tilt table. A pair of accessory heads add low-speed, base-drive vertical milling and separate top-drive, high-speed vertical to the machine's capabilities.