Thursday, 27 September 2012

Refining Tutorial. Porcelain Heart wedding favours

I have recently made 50 porcelain hearts that have been impressed with vintage lace for a lady who commissioned me to make them for wedding favours.
Here is the guide to the way I made them from the cutting out stage.
First of all I cut out the hearts with a cookie cutter and impressed half of them with lace over the whole of the heart.
 Then I impressed the other half with a thicker cotton lace over just half of the hearts, leaving one side smooth.

When the hearts are at leather dry stage as they are here in the photo above I begin to refine them. I remove all the rough edges and the burrs so I have a smooth heart.
(Leather hard stage means when the clay is firm but not too wet to work with and not so dry you cannot do anything with it and is more likely to break.) 

I also work on the reverse side so that they are smooth all around. 
I use the flat side of a knife to do this and I work all the way around taking off the side of the heart.

The next stage is probably the most time consuming which is smoothing all the hearts. I use a sponge and go along all the edges and then wipe over the front just gently. I also sponge the hanging hole so this is smooth as I don't want to damage the ribbon that I thread through with rough edges.

Here are two of the hearts ready.

After they have all been smoothed I am left with these clay filings, which I recycle as porcelain is so expensive and I don't like to throw any away unnecessarily. It just gets put back in a bag and I do a big recycle when the bag is full at another time.

I leave all the hearts stacked on top of each other to dry out in my workshop.

When they are all dry I check them all for warping, if they are good they go in the kiln, if not they go in the recycling bag as if they warp before firing they will warp more during the firing.

After firing I add the ribbons and they look like this.
Find them in my shop here.

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