Tuesday, October 2, 2012

In the Factory - Custom Projects

A client sent us this beautiful antique tile and asked us to recreate it for their project.  Custom projects can be very involved and labor intensive, but it keeps us sharp. We love a challenge!  Here's the process we went through to create this lily pad tile.

First a "blank" was made using wood and plasticine to create the basic frame shape. 

The blank was cast in plaster and the details of the frame were carved in.

From there the lily pad was added in plasticine and the piece was cast again.

Once the piece was approved we made another mold and cast it in rubber. This is the mold we use to make molds! Plaster molds wear out and the details can get lost. Having an original in rubber lets us make new molds to keep the patterns consistent over time. 

Meanwhile the glaze colors were also being tested. Since the custom piece was still in the works we used our own lily pad to test on. 

A second try at the green for the lily pad and we are good to go. Here's the original on top and our copy on the bottom. Success! Of course that's just the one for approval, now the job has to go through production which usually takes 4 to 6 weeks. It's well worth the wait when you see all the careful work that goes into a beautiful custom  piece.