Saturday, 24 March 2012

House Name Plaques update and finished project

Its a good feeling when a project like this is completed and the customer likes what they have got. I always feel under more pressure when making to specific requirements as things may go wrong in the kiln or the customer may not like what I have made and I generally feel daunted by commissions but feel compelled to take them on. After all if the customer has faith in what I produce then why shouldnt I?
Here are some of the processes that the two name plaques have been through, and the finished item.
At this stage the lettering has been drawn onto the clay and the plaque is left to go to leather hard stage ready to work  on again.

As above but this plaque I scratched a drawing of the hens and the pigs and left to go to leather hard stage.

At this stage the clay is leather hard which means it is still soft enough to work on but not wet  as the initial stage and not dry enough to not do anything with.
 I have dug out all the lettering with a clay tool and smoothed with a soft brush ready to paint glaze into the letters. After this I have to weight down all the corners to allow the work to dry really flat. This takes weeks sometimes. I am going to single fire these pieces (which means fire once with the glaze painted straight onto dry unfired clay)

Here I am putting the shelves in my kiln together to load up my work and do a firing.

These are the final fired plaques before I delivered them to Pairpoint's Farm.

The lady who bought them really liked them. So phew!!
Until another commission comes along.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Water colour underglazes and thinking about new packaging.....

 These I am quite excited about using. Usually my glazes are made from my own mixtures from raw ingredients or they are bought ones, alternatively I tend to use oxides to decorate my work, however, I have discovered these. little watercolour underglaze tablets in a paint box. I was a bit sceptical about this as it seems such a tiny amount of glaze for the cost and its not how I usually decorate my work. They are semi-moist and should give the impression of watercolour on the clay then you have to coat them with a clear on-glaze and fire them. I am going to use them mainly on my smaller porcelain pieces of work due to their tiny size.

On scouring the internet for new packaging I stumbled across a shop on Etsy selling these parcel stickers. I tend to use alot of Espo supply boxes from school which I recycle to ship out my own ceramics. It makes sense to recycle these strong boxes which have only been used once to send paper and art supplies to the school then they tend to get broken up and destroyed unless I get to them first. The inner parts of my packaging like bubble wrap and tissue paper obviously have to be bought new but just to re-use a bit helps with recycling and keep down shipping costs to my customers.

These are the parcel stickers which now get used on my parcels
"We recycle shipping materials!"
Wish I had thought of it myself

These little Glassine bags are to be used as favour bags to hold little ceramic hearts for a  new stockist. I will post details about this when they are made.

Not too sure how I am going to use this. It was one of those internet buys that arrives and it isnt quite what you expected. For some reason I thought it had an adhesive backing so that I could use it to stick down tissue paper and seal the above bags.
Not quite. It is just a real of brown paper ribbon, not too many uses for it really. That will teach me to read descriptions properly!!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

House Names plaques and Fox Hooks... Works in progress

These are my current project. Two commissions for a local lady for her farm and house. The brief was fairly open these house names just must be seen form the road as the farm houses hens and pigs and the eggs are sold by the road side, and the current plaques are hard to see.
The plaques have just had the lettering outlined so that I can scrape out the clay between the letters to give an engraved appearance of the letters,( rather like the slate plaques you can buy.) I will post some more pictures when I have done this and the plaques have dried a bit.

I have drawn the hens and pig into the clay with a scratchy tool and built up with relief around the bodies. I will fill the lines with oxide so they stand out more and spray with clear glaze to stop the surface becoming weathered.

These foxes are a new project I am working on and I am quite excited about them as they  are functional and will be used as hooks and can be mounted on the wall or backs of doors. I have also made use of my print blocks to decorate the backs.

I will post more pictures when these have a coat of glaze on them.


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