At last - We got a chance to try out our new toy. Well, not exactly a toy. It is actually our new state of the art Peter Pugger tile extruder from the USA. She worked alright. No more standing around coaxing the old pugmill to keep going, cooling its body with cold flannels as the engine overheated. This beast has POWER! So much so in fact that the first attempt came through so fast I didn't have time to collect the extrusion before it collapsed. Being used to the old pugmill I had loaded it with a fairly soft batch of clay.
An hour later and a lot of kneading we had a second attempt with a much firmer batch. This time it worked a treat. It still came through a little fast even on the slowest setting - I had to get Rodger to stop and start the On/Off switch as I wanted to bend the form as it came through.
I wonder if we can somehow adjust the settings.
She certainly made light of this extrusion. The speed with of flow in a straight line wasn't so critical.
I cut this extrusion using a piece of corrugated roof as a guide.
It was a bit tricky getting the top on and keep the angles at the same time. A fair bit of measuring and then some firm pushing down.
I extruded pipes and shaped the legs of this creature and attached them upside down. But how was I to get it onto turned over and on to its ripply base?
By a pulley and sling of course! I found myself working this one out at 3am one morning. We already have a pulley for our glaze mixer so it was easy enough to make up a hammock. It worked a treat. The body was leather hard and firm enough and I was able to lower it down and position it until it just rested on the base.
I left it supported overnight under polythene and by the next morning it had firmed up enough to attach the feet,
and remove the sling. Next instalment will be the head and tail.
Meanwhile in between all this creative excitement Rodger and I had a long weekend in Derbyshire. It was a midway place in Britain to meet up with old friends from art college.( Corsham - Bath Academy of Art). What a time we had - ten in all,and we hadn't met up in a group like this for ten years. All of us are still involved in the arts and with lots in common, shared experiences and interests it was a totally inspiring and rejuvenating few days. With a lot of laughs. Not least when Stephen Jon, mask maker extraordinaire, produced beaks for us all.
Am I too proud to show the resulting Christine with a beak?
Here are a beak nosed Stephen and Rodger,
and the resulting hilarity as we were treated to a picture show of our beaked evening. Well - I could post a few more pictures my friends, but then again I would like to keep your friendship!