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.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

School Tile Update

Gardening Club ceramics tiles
A few blog posts ago I mentioned a project that I did with the schools gardening club, you can review it here.
Well, after storing them in my garage over the summer I finally got them into the kiln a couple of weeks ago, and this is the final glaze firing for the tiles. They have glazed really well and I'm so glad I took the decision to only let them glaze the letters just one colour (much to the children's annoyance at the time) I didn't want to control how they used the colours but just felt that the letters would be lost in a mix of glaze colours if I hadn't.

The children collected leaves, twigs and other garden objects and imprinted them into the tiles.

The tiles need to be mounted onto a wooden sign now ready to be placed in the school garden. I will post more pictures when this is done.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Making with porcelain clay (porcelain Owl Buttons)

Here are some photos of the owl buttons I have been making for my shop on Not on the high since last year, I have started making them in batches like these, so I can keep better hold on how many I have.

These are the buttons that have just been made so they are still soft at this stage.
Once fired I coat half of them in the teal glaze  or the moss green glaze you see below.

The white buttons are left unglazed, the others either have a teal glaze or a moss
green colour fired onto them.


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