Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Review of "The Extruder Video" by Daryl Baird

A while back I was lucky enough to acquire the 2 disc DVD "The Extruder Video" by Daryl Baird and produced by Ceramic Arts Daily.  Took me a little while to be able to watch it as I had to get my computer set up and fixed to watch the DVDs.  Could have used my hubby's PS3... but I can never remember which setting the tv has to be on to use the PS3 to watch DVDs.  Regardless, I was able to watch both DVDs and am sooo very glad I did!  I had paper and pen out ready to take notes.  But I didn't need to!  Daryl walks you through from the VERY BEGINNING in clear, easy to remember steps and speaks like he's speaking to you in a workshop setting and NOT in front of the camera.  Which the dialogue was quite refreshing.  It may be the manner in which he spoke was the reason why I didn't need to take notes!  Every step of the process was easy to remember and I know I can go back and review items if I need to.  So time for the break down of the DVDs. :)

When you get the DVDs, it looks like this (well, covered with plastic..but I took that off.)

 And inside of the 2 disc set.  They weren't numbered, just a list of segments on the DVDs themselves.  So to remind myself, I went ahead and took my permanent marker and labeled them 1 and 2.
One thing I REALLY appreciated, is that Daryl takes you step by step on how to install your extruder fresh out of the box!  Finding the stud, how to install it so that the attachment is sound and won't fall off your wall, setting up your work/staging area, and even some tips on proper body mechanics.  For the complete clay extruding newbie this information is invaluable!!  He also talks about the proper clay condition and how firm/soft you should be working.  Wish I would have watched this before I got and used my extruder 2 years ago!  I have one from TA Metalworks out of Canada, so it's set up a tad different than the NorthStar extruder used by Daryl in the video.  But I've definitely created more ware and tear on my personal extruder as a result of using clay that was too firm to be put through the extruder.
Daryl goes on to explain the anatomy and general construction of hollow dies, how to appropriately handle the hollow extrusion to prevent warping, and then he walks you through some different projects.  Yet again, Daryl proves why the clay community as a whole is awesome!  He shows you several different projects to do and encourages you to make them for yourself, and add your own spin on them.  One such project is his iconic mountain top boxes.

Disc 2 - Tips and tricks on how to make your own custom dies with a variety of materials.  Plywood, metal, plastic, and yes...even credit cards!  The credit card dies were my favorite section as that's something anyone can do without any special tools.  Granted, you can't make a hollow extrusion die out of the credit cards because they don't have enough strength to handle all the stress placed on it during the extruding process.  But that's okay.  I haven't created one yet..but that is definitely on the to-do list!

All in all...I would HIGHLY recommend this set of DVDs to anyone.  From the very beginner who is thinking of acquiring an extruder to the seasoned extruder professional.  Daryl imparts great tips and tricks from beginning to end.  I truly felt like I was participating in a 1:1 workshop with him rather than watching DVDs on my computer.  And NO, I was not paid nor was I asked to write this review.  Just wanted to impart my opinions and personal experiences with this product to the interwebs.

For the clay enthusiast who works with extruding and slab building, there's even a Facebook group for us all to be groupies of!  You can find it here:

'Til Next Time! 

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