28 November 2009

Ceramics week 10

A kiln cooling - listen closely and the pots quietly go ping - ping -
The demonstration today was of screen printing onto slabs. First make your screen - this one is made with emulsion from a photo (it needs a special machine to do so), and stretched on a picture frame -
Another screen printing possibility is to mix a little "medium" into the slip, and print on thick paper or fabric. That can be put on the clay, and in the firing the paper or fabric burns off, leaving the clay behind as a "print". I've brought some home to try (but first must clear off my workbench, which still has wax from the sculpture project).

You can use stamps to impress into the clay, and then fill the dips with coloured slip - and once it's dry, print with a darker colour, so the slip looks like a shadow -
Most of my glazed pieces came out of the kiln during the week. I'm trying to figure out, from my notes, what's what - this learn-by-doing method could take a long time -
Before and after - the black slip has gone quite dark with the stoneware firing, and the clear glaze gives it a nice quality -
But this is my favourite - the pins in the clay have bubbled up a treat, making a good contrast with the printed slip under a clear matte glaze on the other side. I'll use this combination again. At last, a bit of "vocabulary" for the next project!More of the same here, in one of my "mouths of hell" - it's quite an ambiguous object -Towards the end of the day these came out of the kiln - I need to figure out what's what -At last I've moved on to making slabs into "little houses" (of a sort) - keeping it somewhat simple, black slip and possibly clear or white glazes later. The "stilts" from the sculpture project are making an appearance -
The sloping floors make semi-secret areas underneath -
Let's see what happens with the pins across the windows. They're from a box of office pins, nice and sturdy, I got for 10 pence many years ago; I'll be trying tacks and nails too -
It takes me quite a while to get going in class, and then at the end of the day I don't want to stop - by then I have a long mental list of what to do next. It takes actually handling the material to get the ideas going.


Robin said...

Looks like you are having a lot of fun while working hard and learning tons.

Anonymous said...

Very cool work, Margaret. I'd love to see the melted pins etc. in a close up. Do they melt into a puddle, or just soften in place? Esp. like the black stamped marks that look like ancient inscriptions.

Keep up the good work,
Linda Laird

Anonymous said...

So very jealous of all the fun you're having! Good job to keep track of experiments. Unloading a kiln is such a rush.
Now is anyone complaining about your affecting their pieces in the kiln with your metals and stuff? No fuming on other work? Curious...
Wish I had access to a kiln again, I'd join you in the journey.
So, more close-ups, please.