Friday, April 22, 2011

Borromean rings, take two

I'm getting closer to decent wheel-thrown Borromean rings, though I'm still pretty sure coils are a better way to go. I could probably crank out a few hundred coil Borromean rings in the time it takes to make one set on the wheel. Nonetheless, efficiency isn't everything, and the process has reminded me of some useful tidbits. Listen up, class: (1) wet tori squish more easily than firm tori, so trim and squish them when they're as wet as possible; and (2) nothing disguises unsightly bulges better than hundreds of hand-cut holes.

To address my desire to access the insides of the rings (why make hollow rings if you can't tell they're hollow?), I cut holes into two of the rings to let light show through. Then I wrapped a small pile of hole detritus into a piece of paper towel and stuffed it inside the solid torus during ring-locking assembly. (You can see the access point at the top right of the photo; once the clay is stiffer, I'll smooth over the bulge). Thus, even though people won't be able to see through the solid ring, they'll be able to hear that it's hollow when all those clay bits rattle around inside it--because what's a person going to do with a quarter of a cubic foot of Borromean rings other than shake them up and down?

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