Laguna Frost (5-6) @ cone 7
Tacoma Clay Arts red earthenware with mica @ cone 2
Bryan Hopkin’s low fire self glazing porcelain
Aardvark Cassius @ cone 2
Colorants, glazes, mediums:
Bates clear glaze, with mason stains
Amaco LUG, Amaco Velvet, Mayco UG, Coyote UG, Spectrum 500 UG
Speedball acrylic medium
Standard Ceramics luster
Firing: All electric, all the time.
Q: I want to put my drawings on clay too, how can I do that?
A: First, go pick up a copy of Ceramics and Print (3rd edition) by Paul Scott and read it. There are tons of options for image transfer on clay, and you should discover the method that works best for you! Try a bunch of things, practice, PLAY AROUND.
Q: How do you get your images on the clay? Is it decals? I’m doing laser-toner decals and they only come out in sepia, I want to do black.
A: Although I do occasionally play around with decals, that’s not what I use. I am using an adapted block printing method, with thickened underglaze and a brayer. I used to carve the images out of linoleum block, but found they were too stiff to apply to smaller curved surfaces. I’m using photopolymer acrylic now. The images are drawn, scanned in, altered in photoshop to be negatives, then exposed with the photopolymer under UV light to harden. It’s an obnoxious and messy process to make them, but now I can print the same image multiple times and over any surface.
Unfortunately laser toner decals will always come out sepia, which is something you can work with, or there are commercial decal options. See also sgraffito, mishima, screenprinting, sumi-e painting, underglaze pencils, underglaze transfer paper… seriously. So many ways of doing this. (commercial decals- see my friends at milestonedecalart.com)
Q: Where did you learn how to print on clay?
A: Self taught! For you- Step 1- research. Lots of research. I own just about every book published on ceramics surface decoration. I went to workshops on mishima, sgraffito, hydro abrasion, screenprinting and more. Step 2- have a strong desire to put your images on clay, and be willing to fail a lot before getting it right. I spent two years futzing around with all sorts of methods before heading back to my roots with printing, and another couple of years working out the kinks with that process. Step 3- learn to block print, and hopefully other print methods; mostly because it’s fun and because it’s great to explore other mediums. Step 4- practice. All the practice. You’ll throw out a lot of stuff. You’ll find out which glaze has zinc and destroys your red underglazes, which ones make the prints run and fuzz and which ones hold fast. Your friends will get exhausted listening to you talk about your newest idea and will have a kitchen full of less than perfect work they wouldn’t let you throw out.
Q- what about all that fancy luster wording?
A- Took a couple of calligraphy classes here in Seattle, played around with different nibs, and started testing them with different dilutions of luster on glazed work. Nikko G nibs are my favorite, lightly diluted luster, and perfectly smooth glaze. It’s all in the wrist and all about angles.
**PSA** lusters are toxic, always apply in well ventilated areas wearing a vapor respirator and gloves. Only fire with ventilation and when no one is going to be in the building.
More questions? There’s a contact-me link up top!