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This is the first phase in a long (ongoing) process that will allow me to produce many copies of a ceramic lamp prototype. I started the prototyping process thinking I was simply going to prove out the feasibility and structural integrity of a much larger model. But I liked the smaller version so much I decided to create a new project around it. What follows is an accounting of that process.

For the basic principles of slipcasting, please refer to the following Instructable

Step 1: A Model Is Born

If fired high enough, porcelain can become a beautiful, translucent material. With this in mind I developed a lamp composed of a radial array of ceramic members. I used Rhino and Grasshopper so I could quickly visualize a series of iterations with different dimensions, member sizes and numbers and with a range of aperture sizes. I settled on a thin, squat version that reminded me of George Nelson's Bubble Lamps of the 1960s.

Throughout the modeling process I was conscious of the constraints of slipcasting or casting in general, especially the concept of undercuts. In order to successfully de-mold from a non-flexible mold there cannot be any undercuts or the cast piece will be locked into the mold. Each of the arrayed finsin my 3D model are beveled to allow for an easy release from the mold.

<p>Fantastic!</p>
<p>Great instructable.... I've been looking into this on my own and came across this. Clear and concise.</p>
<p>are you working on other shapes? very original to use of ceramic, the end result is surprisingly good.</p>
<p>Awesome molding tutorial, that piece looks so intricate! Thanks for sharing!</p>

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