Friday, May 05, 2006

Life Is Sweet

Sometimes it just all comes together fine! I can't believe I hit these this close. There was joy and dancing in the streets! Well, in my studio at least. Obviously, the one on the left is the old one and the one on the right is mine. The color could have been a little darker but there is some variation throughout the chimney pot and I think they still have to clean the originals some.
The dimensions all the way around were pretty good; I was off about an 1/8" on one side of this one and the 2 straight, middle sections were about 1/4" more narrow than the originals but at least they were not too big. I did, however, have one small problem. Under my hand in this pic is a pretty good size crack, plus some personal info I wanted inscribed in the piece just for ego purposes. I just got too anxious in the last firing and went a little too fast with the temperature and so that is what happens. They came through the bisque firing fine because I really took my time etc.
This is one of the middle pieces I did up next to the old corner. They all matched pretty good; I would say within 3/16" on the profiles and outer dimensions. You can see that bad crack in the piece in the background. Fortunately, none of the cracks made it to the face of the pieces so no crack will show when they are installed. I don't believe the cracks will ever pose a problem because the clay was fired to vitrification so they are not porous anymore. To compare, a flower pot is only fired to about bisque temperature (still porous) and therefore, can still absorb water and freeze and crack etc. I believe that was what happened with the old pieces.
These are the pieces right after the bisque firing. I applied a dark red slip as opposed to a glaze so they would not come out shiny, just the dark color. Then I wiped off about half the color to even it out and get a stained appearance and fired them to the final temperature of about 2,300 degrees. The clay just left bare does turn a nice dark brown but these needed a pretty good shot of red to match, so therefore the slip.
This is just how the 3 pieces fit together. They fit tighter though; the mortar joint is only about 1/4". I believe the guys at work were kinda suprised that I actually pulled this off. I am too to be honest. I always run my mouth about how I can fix this or that and then just sweat bullets until it's over. The architect approved them yesterday and hopefully they will be installed before someone drops something on them.


pablo said...

This sure looks like something to be proud of. I'm impressed anyway. I read a book about a man in Texas who pulled apart the chimney of a long-gone settler's cabin for the building stones and found a note inside it cursing whoever pulled apart the chimney. He used the stones to build his own chimney, and he put a similar note in it! Maybe you should put a note in a little film canister or such and slip it inside the hole of the corner piece. I sure would.

edifice rex said...

Thanks pablo! and that is the coolest idea! See, I would have never thought to do that on my own. I called the job super and we talked to the stone mason foreman who said he was not going to set them until about Wed. of next week. He thought it was a great idea too and that will give us time to think of what we want to put in it. That's why I like this blog 'cause people can give you great ideas. Sometimes I'm very unimaginative so I like input from other people.

Gin said...

Thanks for posting the results. Good job on the fit and color! And yes, Pablo's idea is excellent! Love it!

pablo said...

BTW, the book is Hardscrabble by a man named John Graves. Yes, you can have a time capsule of a sort.

edifice rex said...

Thanks gin! I'll post what we finally decide to do with the chimney but I was thinking maybe a few coins from this year and Allen suggested the front page from the newspaper of the day we install it.