Introducing Glypsum (glazed gypsum plaster)

At Solheim Lab in Washington, we have been printing many, many molds and having great fun casting glass (more posts on that subject later).   It seems that our kilns have been going non-stop over the past week (what an exciting time in our lab).

Today’s post is a new development that came as a result  of observing  the glass molds after the casting process.    The molds were quite robust after firing.   We tested fired PVOH (hydroperm) past 2200 F (1200 C) succesfully.  Thus it seemed that PVOH might be able to take glaze!  Wow!

We test fired a few bars with glaze and the results were positive (although they were very porous).    Laura West suggested showing something cool (not just your standard test bars).

[showtime]

We present a simple bowl with glaze and and some dark blue crystal glaze sprinkles.     We took care of the porosity issue by infusing with colloidal silica before glazing.

With all of our excitement, we sent an email to Michael Eden in England with a simple question “Hey Michael, have you ever heard of anyone glazing plaster?”.  The answer “Yes, me!”

{Copyright Michael Eden}

“I infused one of the commercial printing plasters with a proprietary refractory infiltrate (from Axiatec) that allows it to be heated to 1500C (2730F). The material is too absorbent for glaze, so I coated with vitreous slip, fired it to 1000 C, then dipped it into our lovely lead glaze, stained with copper oxide. Then fired to 1085 (1985F)

Definitely a case of the pre-industrial meeting the post-industrial!”
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Great fun to find other minds that ask the same questions “What if you did …  OR Could we do that…?”

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