Tuesday, 13 March 2007


Wheel thrown clay cylinder with sgraffito decoration

Wheel thrown clay cylinder with design painted in shellac

My ceramics instructor at the Art Student's League asked everyone to try some new surface decoration treatments on our wheel thrown pots. I think it's a great exercise and will hopefully give me some ideas for new work. (Thanks M.C.!) Our task was to throw 4 cylinders and then apply a different technique to each one. The first one involved painting on a colored slip and employing a method called sgraffito, which comes from the Italian word sgraffire or to scratch. It is commonly used in ceramic arts but can also be used in 2d work. Paint on 1 color, let it dry and then paint another over the top and use a sharp point (or other end of the paint brush) to draw back into the paint. With clay, colored slip is applied and then scratched or carved back into the form.

The second technique I am doing is to paint my design using shellac. I am going to carve away the unpainted part of the clay, so that the shellac painting will remain raised (the shellac will burn off during the bisque fire). We are also going to do some glaze stamping and cold surface glazing. Cold surface glazing is when color is applied but not fired in a kiln. You can use shoe polish, paint (oil, watercolor and acrylic), gold leaf, ink, wax, you name it-the sky is the limit.

I'm super excited! Last week, I applied for a tax ID and am ready to go on that front business wise. I used it today when I visited Mile Hi Ceramics and purchased a new Aim 88T Test Kiln for firing my pendants and other clay derived jewelry and I also purchased some raw materials. I will be test firing my kiln this week and will hopefully have a batch of pendants ready to fire this weekend.

I just signed up for another FREE tele-seminar with Art Biz Coach, Alyson Stanfield and Katherine Weber, author of Red Lotus Letter. The tele-seminar is titled How To Energize Your Art Career with Feng Shui. The seminar promises to introduce the listeners to the prinicples of Feng Shui and how proper studio organization can influence your energy and momentum. I figure, what the heck...I'm converting my garage into my studio space and I can use all the help that I can get!
I should probably mention that the tele-seminar is open to the first 250 people who sign up and takes place Wed. March 21st at 8PM EDT.

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