Monday 29 November 2021

Marble Run

Life through a marble series

Acrylic metallic paint & vintage glass marbles

 For this piece I decided to let marbles do the work.

 My Dad used to be a picture framer, so I raided his attic for some pieces of mount board.  I found some pieces with circular holes cut out which I though would work very well.

I laid one board with a circle cut out on top of a full sheet.

I found some old vintage school type marbles in my shed, and took out my metallic acrylic paints.

I chose colours that would compliment each other and not blend into each other to create a muddy colour.






I covered a marble in paint then I rolled it along the mount board  - or rather I attempted to.  The paint clogged up the rolling effect so the marble needed a good flick to help it on it’s way.  If it stopped before I wanted it to I gave it another flick.

It was a bit of a messy project  😊

I actually liked the end result way more than I thought I would, I might even put this on my wall!

This image is both the boards as planned laid on top of each other.

This one is the underneath board turn around to show an image inversion – like viewing through a marble might look.

This one is just the top board on it’s own.

And this is the bottom board on its own.

Sunday 21 November 2021

Refractory Mould – Nuts & Bolts

The first thing I had to do for this project was to create textures in a block of clay.


I found some screws and bolts and a wingnut and pressed them into a squared off block of clay.  I thought they would make some interesting textures – bold and easy to see what they were.

Next I built a box around my clay using Cottle boards and clamps.   Around the bottom of the boards I added a little clay so none of the plaster mix would leak out.


Plaster Recipe for refractory mould:  (to be measured up as required)

·       1lb plaster powder

·       1lb molochite powder

1 pint water

Once the plaster mould was dry, I could gently remove all of the clay.

I washed off all the tiny remaining bits with a toothbrush and water.

The next job was to fill the mould with water and measure it.


It’s important to do this BEFORE the mould is put in to the drying cupboard as doing it afterwards would allow the mould to absorb more water, causing issues in the kiln.

I scratched on the side the amount of water needed to fill it – 260ml.

The mould then went into the drying cupboard for about a week to make sure it was thouroughly dried. 

Now it was time to work out how much glass I needed.

A = the amount of water that fills the mould

A x 2.5 = the weight of glass needed to fill the cavity.

So this one was 260 x 2.5 = 650 grams

I weighed this amount out and positioned it into the mould.

Finally the mould and glass went into the kiln so the glass could melt into all of the crevices.

Once out of the kiln I could gently break away and discard the mould material, leaving the slab of glass.


I have put a little too much glass in this mould, hence the overflow, but it will be interesting to cold work it to bring it back to shape.

I used the flat bed grinder in the coldshop to grind all of the excess glass off this piece. I used 120 grit at first, moving on to 320 grit once I had the shape I liked.

I actually had to stop at that point as I could see some stress in the corner of the piece which I suspect would have chipped the corner off if I had continued.

Still,  I am rather pleased with the result, and cannot wait to have another go.

Friday 19 November 2021

Cowpat Moulds

Make the plaster recipe as shown, stir with hand until it starts to thicken…like a thick double cream. 

Pour onto the bench (rubbed with a little Vaseline beforehand) and form into a ‘cowpat’. 

Carve, roll  a texture into it.

Plaster Recipe for Cowpat:

·       1lb plaster powder

·       1lb molochite powder

1 pint water

This was my first piece, I scrumpled up a piece of Blue-Roll and laid some Bubble wrap over the top, I then poured the plaster mix on top of that to create the texture underneath.

Once dry, I turned it over and laid some sheet glass on top and put it in the kiln

I think the glass would have benefitted from being fired first to prevent any sharp edges, as the finished piece has taken on the textures, but the edges are still quite sharp.

For this piece I found a lovely piece of glass which had been screen printed already, which looked a little oriental to me.   So I used some bamboo skewers, laid them out on the bench and poured the plaster mix over the top.

Apart from the edges being a little sharp as before, the texture of the bamboo skewers worked well.


The screen printing faded a little in the kiln, but left enough to give an effect.

I am looking forward to experimenting more with this technique.

Thursday 18 November 2021

Paper & Wire Sculpture

This project was to learn how to form a wire shape then cover it in paper to create a Wire & Paper sculpture.

I used a variety of different thicknesses of wire to create a flower with a leaf, and a vase to stand  it in.

I had to try and work out how to weigh down the base of the flower so that it stood up on its own when out of the vase.  I did this by using a thick coil of stainless steel memory wire and by balancing the flower head and leaf out.

Once I was satisfied with the general shape, I went on to cover it with tissue paper.

I used Decoupage paper for a bit of colour interest – each piece of paper was cut slightly larger than the section I wanted to cover, then I dabbed UHU glue around the wire section and stuck the paper to it, trimming it back to the wire when it was dry


I used different colours of paper for the different areas.

One fully covered I mixed PVA glue with water (approx 50/50) and painted it all over the paper, causing a slight shrinkage when drying – this made it firm and strong.

I gave it two or three more coats after that to make it even stronger.

I am quite happy with the finished result, although my shapes could definitely do with more practise.

I like the effect that the PVA glue gave to the paper, making it almost ‘drum skin’ like.