Building on the work I produced before Christmas, I have reproduced the original white pots. I am presenting these refined versions as part of the subject module, and furthering them into the brand for Field.
I have kept the forms very very similar, except re-lathed all the pots with a foot ring that sits on the outside rather than in the middle. This makes the pots look tidy when they sit, and also is easier for me to mould and cast from. These re-lathed forms were the basis for the Field range, where I took the white earthenware pots and made them into stoneware.
I made several of each moulds, improving on my mould making skills dramatically since before Christmas, and cast from both materials within the same moulds. This resulted in the casts being different sizes, as the clays shrunk at different percentages.
Originally, I wanted the stoneware pots to be white aswell, with a splash of colour on the inside. Through some failed kiln loads and more experiments, this ended up developing into a really special combination of 60s interior style brown with a 50s brightly glazed inside. While I’ve found that vintage palettes are trending right now, it gives me such pleasure that I can combine my love for vintage colours with what is selling well. The exterior also gave the effect of a wood firing, which I’ve been able to recreate easily since within an electric kiln.
While being extremely happy with the aesthetics of the pieces, I was less than happy at the structure. I had made my own slip myself, and it produced the most perfect texture and response to the glaze (speckles on the inside for example) but it could not keep its structure to save its life. Each and nearly every pot would warp, and it could warp quite significantly. I cast the pots thicker – and even at bisque temperature they would still warp. This is something I will be addressing immediately after presentation Monday, by phoning the stockist of the clay and asking their advice. I have also been advised on experimenting with adding a little bit of dispex and seeing how that goes. The earthenware pots though, did keep their shape very well.
Another problem I found with casting was that even though my pots were emptied at the same time, the casting thicknesses were very different and so wasn’t the most ideal thing when it came to a collective set. I’m putting this down to my moulds having different thickness walls, and I will be re-making new moulds that I can take with me into my next escapade in September. Having different thickness walls for each of the pots made it extremely hard to lathe a tonne of lids that were a universal fit… and of course this didn’t happen in the end because all the lids had to be custom fit with different seals to fit the pots they were assigned to. Again, not ideal.
Seals are my next thing to evaluate. I’ve completely missed the mark with seals, even though they are an extremely important part of my project I didn’t put as much research into them as I should have. If I had to use glue, I would have to use a FDA approved glue like Permabond, which is strong enough to attach plastic to wood but also food grade. In an ideal world, I would not like to use glue at all. I would probably go back to my original idea of using rubber band style gaskets, like this one
but getting them for the perfect fit. After trawling the internet it seems virtually impossible to find what I want, so it may even be an option to get them custom made if I have no other options left.
Moving on to pewter –
Looking at the organic pewter and ceramic vessel I made for the formative before Christmas, I realised that although I liked the attractive looking vessel, it didn’t sit within my aims for a project – functional homeware – and was more of an art piece than anything. Rethinking this, I went back to the original idea of having attachments and refined these designs into 3 simple attachments – a vase neck, a lid with spoon and a cup holder. I did quite a few designs for each but settled on a simple geometric style, which sat nicely besides the nostalgic theme of the other pieces. I found making these quite difficult, and they required several mould re-dos. I also found that the pewter either shrank or came out thicker than what the mould intended, as it did not fit on the pot nicely and required me to take a lot of material out via a dremmel. This resulted in a lot of wasted time and does not prove for efficient practise when creating these pieces for retail. I think the problem was that pink silicone was used, and tends to have a softer texture than the high temperature red silicone, which would have kept its shape a lot better when cast in. I would remake these pieces via red/high temperature tough silicone.
I knew from the start that I didn’t want to have my name on the pieces. I wanted to develop a brand name that I was happy to keep for a long time. I went through several ideas and ended up on Olio. I made loads of designs based on this name, but ended up having to scrap them because Olio was already known as a ceramic range. I spent more time looking for a new name and landed on “Olla!”, the latin word for Pot. It was similar to Olio and an easy word to design a brand around. Branding is extremely important to me, and I’m presenting the brand itself as a Field outcome. For this, I have designed a small catalogue of 16 pages, two postcards, a facebook page, a business email and a website. I spent a fair amount of time doing these as it’s important to me to set up a brand reputation from the start, so that future customers can remember it. I’ve also set up a newsletter app that visitors of my website can sign up to. I’m quite happy with what I’ve done, but within the next couple of months I’d like to get help from a designer with graphic experience, as mine is quite lacking. I’d ask them to design me a consistent colour palette that changes every season, and a logo that is more punchy – while keeping the same font. Other things that need work is website layout, and choice of images.
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/ollahomeware
Website – http://www.ollahomeware.co.uk
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Summary; what I’ll be submitting for
- Old white earthenware pots
- New white earthenware pots
- Sketch book designs
- Pewter and ceramic organic vessel
- Glaze recipe text book
- Professional practise – applications (inc space, masters, fireworks), postcard proof, business cards, catalogue proof, creative cv, swot analysis on my application, website and social media presence
- V.V.V. stoneware collection
- Sketch book designs
- Olla! brand designs and decals
- Wood turned lids
- Pewter attachments
- Exhibition display