Koi Carp wall installation. Panel measures 24″ wide by 18 tall. Cast glass, finished in a modified verre eglomise. Many of the bubbles in the piece are silver leafed leaving clear spots to give the illusion of a watery atmosphere.
I’ve been working for some time testing various clay bodies for use as a refractory. The idea is to identify a refractory recipe that can be sculpted, dried, and go straight to kiln. Ideally, it would be re-usable, allowing for limited edition runs.
I’m on my way. This latest test answered a lot of questions and also identified new questions to answer. Here’s how it went:
First I sculpted the koi model. This koi is 18.5″ long from nose to tip of tail. Over the course of several days, I made adjustments to several of the details and then allowed it to dry over several weeks.
Next, I placed the koi sculpture into the kiln in a bed of dry plaster. The plaster was arranged to create a fluid environment. Also, the plaster was used along the edges of the koi to defeat any undercuts.
A clean piece of art glass was placed over the top of the entire setup. In this case, it was Spectrum 96, since that’s what I happen to have lying around. Then, after a 12 hour drying cycle, it was fired to 1450F and annealed.
This is how it looked when the kiln was opened. If you’re a fellow koi lover, you know this is a Magoi.
The model was badly damaged during the firing process and cannot be used again. However, I have some ideas on how to fix this on the next go-around, so fingers crossed!
Finally, the piece was finished using a modified verre eglomise technique. The Koi is finished as a Kohaku – the copper representing its markings. The water is finished with pigment and areas of silver, but much of the glass was left clear to create a dynamic water scene.