Back In The Workshop Again

I’ve been back in the workshop recently, generally trying to get back into the habit again. I began by making moulds of a couple of pieces of metal type using Vynamold. Yes, I know that the image above looks like a couple of blocks of cheese.

It was difficult to get good quality images inside the moulds themselves (time for a new camera methinks!) but I think you get the idea – a £ and a $ symbol in 18pt Cooper Black. Mmm, nice!

I had to fill in the notch on the body of the type (temporarily) in order to make the mould or I would have not been able to get anything out. I intend to slipcast these in white stoneware, but I wanted to try out a new material we have called Jesmonite. It is a water-based resin material, mixed like plaster of paris and sets hard, but unlike plaster , it is durable and plastic, and can be worked further – sanded, drilled etc.

Again, not great images, but you get the idea. I need to get more of the air bubbles out though. These are still a little rough around the edges, and I will be tidying them up to see how the material holds up.

I also dug out a mould I made from an old boiler plate. I was a little eager to see this and tried to remove it from the mould before it had fully hardened…

This is just gratuitous typography.

This fragment reminds me of the rosetta stone

I have also been experimenting with ceramics again. I have been considering some more ceramic book covers, as well as one or two other additional book related bits and pieces. For these I began by rolling out some slabs of white stoneware and letting them dry out to ‘leather hard.’

These were then liberally daubed with coloured slips and oxides and vigorously burnished with a highly specialised burnishing tool. A spoon. I continued to add little splashes of slip and re-burnishing to create this effect.

The odd thing is that the clay that appears brown here will be white when fired, so I really don’t know what these will look like. I didn’t record the process in detail here, but I am preparing another project that I will use the technique on and will feature it in more detail.

Some of these slabs were also used to explore some typographic ideas. Using letters from an incomplete fount of Univers Bold Condensed, I pressed in words on two smaller pieces.

These were then filled with coloured slip and allowed to dry, before carefully scraping the excess to reveal the letterforms beneath. These were then carefully burnished to flatten the surface.


This was not as easy as it sounded and was very easy to remove too much of the coloured slip. Another dab solved this though.

And everything gets a final burnish. With the spoon.

Although these are not clean and sharp ‘print’ quality letterforms, I like the relative sharpness and hope that the fired results add a little more to this finish.

I will post an update when this lot come out of the kiln…

I also began another 3D typographic piece, but I’ll save that for later.


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