Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Mono Printing: Painting on Plaster

Author: Cassandra Hart


Hi! I'm Cristina and I love the clay technique called Sgraffito.

Sgraffito is when something like underglaze is applied to Greenware, which is unfired clay, and then scratched away using something like a needle tool.   In this blog entry I will be showing you the step by step process of doing sgraffito!

1. First you need your item made out of clay.  I will be using a bone dry clay plate I made from a mold. you can also use leatherhard clay. Remember, this is clay that has not been fired yet.

The clay that I am using is gray in appearance before it it fired.

2. Have your image.  It is better to draw or have an image ready before you start scratching away.  This helps to make sure you don't make mistakes.

3. Paint your underglaze.  For this plate I am using blue underglaze. Paint it in an even way across the area where you want to sgraffito.

4. Get your needle tool.  Here are some pictures of how I hold the needle tool.  I hold it like a pencil.

5. Start scratching.  When you scratch it is best to lightly blow at the same time because the dust will make it hard to see what you are doing.  This plate is bone dry which is why it makes dust while I scratch.  if done on leatherhard clay there will be crumbles you need to dust away.

6. Continue scratching to make your design.

7. When you are done all you need to do is bisque fire it!

Thanks for reading!

Author: Christina Quintana

Marbling: Step by Step Guide

Author: Tierney Kreider

Underglaze pencils and pastels

Underglaze pencils and pastels are a great way to add surface decoration to ceramic pieces in the form of drawings, mark making, or adding simple pops of color! They are applied to bisque fired clay just as you would apply regular pencils or crayons to paper. To start the process you will need.....

1. White Firing Ball Clay.... 100 grams
2. Potash Feldspar.... 50 grams
3. Silica.... 50 grams
4. Macaloid (or bentonite).... 6 grams
5. Mason Stain Colorants*.... 30 grams or less
* Mason Stains come in a wide range of colors, pictured below is an example of some colors. Colors can be purchased through any ceramic/clay website. 1/4 LB should be more than enough to create a 200 gram batch of the mixture, which equals roughly 12 pencils and 12 pastels.

1. scale
2. mixing container / mixing object (palette knife)
3. plaster slab ( to roll out your pencils and crayons out on )
4. rubber rib
NOTE: All these chemicals need to be processed with proper ventilation and a dusk mask!
Once you have obtained all the necessary chemicals and have taken necessary safety precautions, begin by zeroing-out your scale. Measure out all dry chemicals and put into your mixing container. Add water and mix until the mixture is a thick paste. Once you have your paste, spread the mixture with your palette knife onto the plaster slab (like icing a cake!). Once every bit of the mixture is smoothed out, let it dry until it is plastic like and you are able to peel up the sides with your rubber rib.
Once the stained mixture is dry enough to start peeling up the edges, roll the slab up into coils. The coils can very in size depending on preference of pastel or pencil size (Pencils are usually thinner and skinny, like lead. Pastels thick, perfect for coloring). Once rolled into coils, cut out the pencils and pastels into the lengths you need.
The pieces you intend to be the pastels are ready to be laid out and air dried until no longer flexible. The pencils, will need to be fired in the kiln. Once you are finished, they should look like this...

Now, you are ready to use the pencils and pastels! Happy drawing!

They can be used just like regular pencils and pastels, just remember - this must be done on bisque fired clay!

Once you have created your drawing and are happy with your piece, it is ready to be glazed! Because pencils and pastels will smudge, the glaze will need to be sprayed on. Once sprayed, it is ready to fire! Have fun!

  Author: Madison Gibbs

Making underglaze pastels and pencils

In this blog post, I'm going to explain and show how to measure and mix opaque enamels! Enamels are painted on pottery after the glaze firing and usually create another dimension to the piece. This specific recipe is for enamels fired at cone 015 when used as an overglaze. If you've never mixed a glaze or any material in ceramics, think of it like baking. You'll mix your dry materials first, then the wet materials, and after all has been combined you'll mix the two. I'll be giving the recipe divided by dry materials and wet materials.
you'll need 
Firt 3134
Pemco P-25 (frit 3269)
GMC Power (or solution)
Darvan 7
multiple containers (at least 3)
Zero out the scale with whatever container you plan on using

Dry Materials:
Frit 3134 …………………….36.4%   (9g)
Pemco P-25 (frit 3269) ..55.6%    (14g)
EPK ………………………………8%        (2g)
Add tin …………………………10%      (2.5g)
Colorant ………………………..2-10% 

dry materials without colorant in container

dry materials with colorants

Personally, I wanted my colors to be bold. The pink powder on the left is Lavender (Laguna Clay mason stain), and the blue on the right is Copen Blue mason stain. Each is 10g,
This final step will depend on whether you have CMC solution or powder. For this demo I had powder, so added the 3g of CMC powder to the dry materials. If you have the solution, start with that in the wet materials section

Wet Materials:
 Water………………….. 9g
CMC Solution…………3g
Darvan 7…………..……7g

Once combined, the CMC powder/solution should create a gummy/elastic texture to the mix.

Don’t worry, once all of these are in one container feel free to add more water in order to create an enamel that better fits your painting preference!

Good Luck & Happy Painting!!

mono printing on a clay slab

What is Mishima?