DIY Water Torch?

Q: I’m intrigued by the idea of those new “water torches” that break water down into fuel—can anybody tell me how to build my own?

Can I Generate Oxygen for my Torch by Electrolysis?

Q: I’m trying to get my air-acetylene Little Torch to burn hotter, and I thought I’d try oxygen rather than compressed air. Would it make sense to generate my own oxygen by electrolysis of water?

Drilling Wet with a Flexible Shaft Tool

Q: I’ve purchased a Foredom flexshaft, and I want to drill some holes in glass, which I’ve seen done using a shallow pan of water to contain the glass and cool it. Is this dangerous for the tool, and would I run the risk of electrocuting myself?

What is a Glaze?

Q: What is a glaze?

A: In plain terms, a glaze is a very thin layer of glass formed on a clay pot during the firing processes, that is, during one of the times that the fragile clay vessel is heated to a high temperature (above 1800° F, 1000° C).

Are Glass and Glaze the Same?

Q: Are glass and glaze the same?

A: Sometimes, but not often. Glass itself dates back at least 50 centuries. Mix sand and some other dry minerals, heat in a fireplace, and you obtain a material often called a “network polymer” (a “mer” is a unit molecule and “poly” means many, joined together).

What Affects a Glaze Surface?

Q: What affects a glaze surface?

A: A glaze surface may be glossy, satiny, or rough (dry matt); the actual result will revolve around the silicon oxide and the alumina oxide contents, both in relative and absolute terms. A glass that contains 60% silicon oxide (silica, flint, quartz), plus or minus 5%, will usually make a good glaze.

How Many Materials are there in a Glaze?

Q: How many materials are there in a glaze?

A: If one examines many glaze recipes, one soon realizes that most of them contain ten ingredients, or less. These, in turn, are used repeatedly in different recipes for a given firing range (low-fire, mid-fire, or high—fire).

Cast Marble

Q: How does one go about making sculpture in “cast marble” or “bonded marble?”

Alternative Casting Materials

Q: I would like to cast something into molds (besides plaster of Paris) that would end up looking like white marble. Should I use polyester resin or what?

Concrete Textures

Q: I’m interested in experimenting with concrete to get different surface effects than the usual boring cast concrete look. Any suggestions?

Forton MG Plaster

Q: What is this Forton MG plaster you mentioned, and where do you get it?

How to Make Holograms

Q: How do you make holograms that are visible in white light?

Cheapest Mold Material for Clay Models

Q: I’m making models in clay that have lots of undercuts, and would like to take molds of them so I can make permanent sculptures in plaster or polyester resin. What is the cheapest thing I can use that won’t tear up the originals too badly?

Making Pictorial Mosaics

Q: How would I go about making mosaics like the Ancient Romans did?

Mosaic-surfaced Stepping Stones

Q: I want to make some concrete stepping stones with a mosaic surface. What kind of mold, concrete/aggregate mix, and setting technique should I use?

Carving Amber

Q: I’ve picked up some nice pieces of amber and I was wondering how to carve it.

Vitreous Enameling

Q: What do jewelers mean by “enameling”? Is it the same as regular paint, or does it have to be heated in an oven? Is it the same as embossing?

The Resin FAQ—Casting Resins into Molds

Christopher Pardell covers the various types of resin commonly used by sculptors for filling molds, including polyester, urethane, and epoxy. This article covers the following topics: casting vs. layup, suitable molds, types of resin, polyester resin, polyester’s drawbacks and hazards, epoxies, urethanes, clear castings, shrinkage flaws, heat effects, shrinkage cracks, achieving larger castings, slowing polymerization, filling resin, various fillers, air bubbles, mixing, agitation and vacuum, and pressure casting.