Saturday, September 17, 2022

Slide of the Month - Acrylics (back to school)

September 2022

Time to make: 3 hours

Finishing: 1 hour

Original designBill Macfarlane

One of the things I love about making neckerchief slides is experimenting with different materials and techniques. Each taught me something and even mistakes took on a whole other side of creativity.

I got the idea of casting some colored pencils with a pourable resin and set off to see what I could do. First off I needed a mold but, having some experience with turning pens, I knew I need a short piece of  2 inch PVC pipe. Next came color pencils and if you have been a parent or gone to school in the past few years, you probably have an abundance of colored pencils around. I cut the colored pencils to fit inside the PVC and then hot glued them into a stack like a round stair case. I also included a small square of wood underneath the stack so I had extra resin material to work with. To prepare the PVC pipe, I used a piece of plastic glove and attached it to the bottom of the pipe. The stack of pencils was inserted into the pipe before pouring in the resin. When the resin had hardened, I popped out the form from the PVC pipe using a dowel and a hammer. I then took the form over to the lathe and clamped in in. I should mention here that the wooden base and the extra material I poured at the top gives me the ability to work the form. Turning the plastic takes a certain pressure to make look uniform but this goes right out the window when the chisel hits the wood of the colored pencil. Yes, took a huge chip out of the form...start from scratch.  Take two and I am using very little pressure and got a cylinder ready to finish on the lathe with fine sandpaper and super glue. (I know that sound odd but it give a great finish.) After the finish coat, I set up the lathe to drill a hole down the center and I wasn't initially happy with the results. (see bottom slide)   The colors had streaked through the inside and I really wasn't satisfied with the outside either  because the wooden pencils were not uniformed so I set that one aside. On my third attempt, I didn't cut down to the pencils and left a thin layer of resin between the outside and the pencils. I cut the hole down the middle a bit slower spending a lot of time wet sanding and polishing.  (see top slide).  Taking what I had learned (and the fact I had left over sharpened pencil points) I did one last slide (yes the one in the middle above.)

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