Stage 7 - Spraying
Both Machine Spray and Hand Spray techniques were used to spray a coat of glaze onto finished cast pieces. Over the years several spray machines were installed which could use an electrostatic charge to attract the spray particles to the product. Electro 3 was the final version and was installed in the late 1980’s.
Before spray, cast pieces were inspected for a good finish with no unwanted clay particles on the surface. If necessary sponging or a blast of compressed air could be used to dislodge particles.
On Electro 3 pieces were loaded to a “chair” on the continuous conveyor which travelled around the machine. The chair would pass through a hand spray booth then on to a machine booth. Here the chair would spin as it passed a bank of automatic spray guns. The piece then progressed to another pair of hand spray and machine spray booths for a second coat. The hand spray booths were used to reinforce areas of complex pieces which the automatic guns couldn’t fully reach. The conveyor chair continued to the offloading area before going through a washer and returning to the start.
Hand sprayers worked at a booth which like Electro 3 had extraction at the rear to capture the overspray. They would carefully build up the coating of glaze on the cast avoiding drips until the correct thickness was reached.
After spray, the relevant logo transfer was applied to the piece. This would fire into the glaze in the kiln. The piece was then transported on a truck to the next process.