Sunday, 23 October 2011

My new glaze test results after the firing

A few weeks ago I blogged about some new glazes that I had been mixing up and trying out. After a fairly successful firing last week these were retrieved from the kiln.As you can see they are very different from the original colours.
The ones marked with the stars above will are the ones I like and the ones I think suit my work best, so I will buy larger quantities of these glazes.

I used one of the glazes on this soap dish (110 Autumn Tones) Its quite an attractive bluey grey with coppery tones, so it will be added to my glaze collection.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Christmas Decorations in the making....

Preparation for some Tree decorations, I'm changing the decorations this year partly because I have less time to do them and also because I just want to offer a few individual ones and less of a "conveyor belt style" opperation in my workshop. It seems in recent years I have had so many at different stages and then when they all come out of the kiln it takes so long matching and putting into sets. So I'm taking the "less is more" approach so I can concentrate on other work.
Here is what I've come up with so far:

A selection of the Christmas Tree decorations at bone dry stage.

Amongst some of the usual stars and hearts I have made some cubes using my little owl stamp and the tile decorations are stamped with various decorations and are ready for sanding.

These will also hang on the tree, but the thread holes are hidden.

The tiles getting some sanding attention before the bisque firing. These will be threaded with wire throught the two top holes when finished. I'll post more photos when they are fired.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Tutorial: How to make clay rollers & stamps...........

A great way to texture clay is by using textured surfaces and stamps and this is a quick guide to show how its done. I made these clay rollers and stamps a few weeks ago at school for the pupils to use with their clay projects (in particular with the clay aboriginal art masks they have been making.) But more to come about those in a future blog.

Roll soft clay into balls approx size of a nectarine.

Push down with palms of your hand to flatten the sides of the clay ball.
Roll the clay on a smooth flat surface to create a soft even edge all round.
Make about six to start with so that you have a few to texture in different ways.

Find objects that you think will create an interesting pattern in the clay (try them out on seperate clay before deciding which to use) I have used the ends of pencils, credit card,print blocks,string,lace ect...

Start to imprint the objects around the clay roller, ensuring even markings and care taken not to distort the clay roller which will still be pliable, it may take a few goes to make the rollers you wish to keep.

The oddest of objects may appear dull and uninteresting but once an impression in clay is made may appear to look really good, experimenting with different objects is key.

Here are some of the rollers just after making them, they will shrink whilst drying and once again if fired. Firing is nessesary if using these rollers onto wet clay but can be used at bone dry stage for polymer clay projects and if a kiln is'nt available.

These stamps are made in the stame way but they are formed like little mushrooms instead of rollers and the surface is flattened and imprinted with objects in the same way.
Here is an example of what they looked like rolled onto slabs of wet clay.


The finished rollers and stamps fired in a kiln.
This tutorial can also be viewed on the Folksy Making guide where it may be printed off in step by step stages.


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