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dAO

tools or methods drawing fine lines of underglaze

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I have some rather detailed drawings I paint/draw onto some of my clay items.  I've  tried a few tools but haven't yet come up with something that is easy to use and creates a pretty consistent fine line.  Currently, my best bet is the Mayco Designer Line (https://www.dickblick.com/products/mayco-designer-liners/?clickTracking=true&wmcp=pla&wmcid=items&wmckw=30488-2013&gclid=CjwKCAiAxarQBRAmEiwA6YcGKLDgI7HBdZTzv_Rr2B3JvH5Llnqkbl8iyhM8h12C-BcvR10eB8kOjhoChSUQAvD_BwE)  but my "squeezing" touch has to be really, really steady (it's not all that!) to get a consistent line.  One of the issues for me with tools that you need to squeeze is that my rather senior hands are not particularly strong.  Some of the squeezer type things are just not flexible enough for me.  Any tips on technique or specific tools people use are very welcome.

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You might want to try a Ruling Pen. It's an old graphic designers tool that works kind of like a fountain pen. You can adjust it to any width and use it with any liquid, including underglaze. The learning curve is to mix the underglaze with the right amount of water to match the consistency to the width of the line. It takes some practice. But there's no squeezing involved! I use this when personalizing wedding gift platters, to write the names of the couple and the wedding date. 

https://www.amazon.com/PRO-ART-40415-Pro-Ruling/dp/B004XL1D26

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On 11/14/2017 at 3:09 PM, neilestrick said:

Mishima! cover you leather hard piece with wax resist, draw through the wax with a needle tool, fill in the lines with underglaze and wipe off the excess. You can also fill in areas with underglaze before doing the wax and line work.

Thank you, Neil.  This is a great suggestion and I have thought about it.  Maybe with some - a lot - of practice.   I have a huge issue with visualization [!!} and I can't mentally work through the layers thing, especially as I want to use two to three different colors at a time.  : )  But, definitely a technique I want to try in my spare time haha

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On 11/14/2017 at 4:31 PM, GEP said:

You might want to try a Ruling Pen. It's an old graphic designers tool that works kind of like a fountain pen. You can adjust it to any width and use it with any liquid, including underglaze. The learning curve is to mix the underglaze with the right amount of water to match the consistency to the width of the line. It takes some practice. But there's no squeezing involved! I use this when personalizing wedding gift platters, to write the names of the couple and the wedding date. 

https://www.amazon.com/PRO-ART-40415-Pro-Ruling/dp/B004XL1D26

I will definitely explore this.  It's completely in line with what I have in mind.  Thank you

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Thank you for the link to the pen Mea! I just ordered one. Amazon US was 9.99 plus 5 for shipping to Canada, Amazon Canada price is 28.56 plus shipping ( ships from the US). Crazy but typical!

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27 minutes ago, Min said:

Thank you for the link to the pen Mea! I just ordered one. Amazon US was 9.99 plus 5 for shipping to Canada, Amazon Canada price is 28.56 plus shipping ( ships from the US). Crazy but typical!

What in the world....

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3 hours ago, hantremmer said:

Has anyone used a ruling pen with shellac?    I used shellac for the first time yesterday; I suspect it would clog quite quickly and be hard to clean.

As long as you have whatever solvent is used with shellac on hand, you should be fine. One nice thing about ruling pens is how easy they are clean.

 

1 hour ago, oldlady said:

mea, any video on using the pen?  looks like something i would really like to have.

No videos of myself, but you can search youtube for ruling pen videos.

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I'm chuckling at how many ruling pens Amazon is suddenly shipping this week---including my order.  I used to do commercial graphic art and used them all the time, but got rid of most of my art supplies from that time and so have none.  It never crossed my mind to use it with clay work---great tip!! 

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This whole conversation is why I so love and value this forum!  Always good to know that I have company in my dilemmas and the suggestions typically hit the mark.  Thank you @GEP and @S. Dean  for @triolazfor the help, and the rest of you for making me  laugh and also feel like I'm not  all alone out here :P

Edited by dAO
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Ruling pens like brush strokes take practice and are not really hard to use. Back in my college days we used India ink and would practice on scrap paper until we were comfortable with the stroke we were trying to achieve and it didn't take that long. 

I have a few of these pens and need to dig them out from were they are hidden.  If I remember correctly I have one that draws multiple lines in a single stoke. Thanks for the reminder.

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On 11/14/2017 at 12:23 PM, triolaz said:

This may be helpful: 

 

 

7D5EDF7D-11A3-4ACA-8A7C-CB9AA30D08E8.png

Thanks for this tip! Do you do anything special to prepare a Mack brush before you use it?  I'm reading about trimming and oiling for other applications, but I don't see guidance about their use with pottery underglaze.

 

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Update for anyone following:  I've been trying these various suggestions with some amount of success.  What I'm happiest with so far (like....really happy)  is the Minnesota Clay Graffito paper.  It's a much fast method than anything I've tried to date:  as fast as simply tracing a design and it's a really clean, solid  and smooth line, completely variable in width depending on what type of tool I use.   At first, I was having trouble with it sliding around a bit, but I found that completely taping it down and just scribing over the tape works really well.  

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On 11/14/2017 at 3:31 PM, GEP said:

You might want to try a Ruling Pen. It's an old graphic designers tool that works kind of like a fountain pen. You can adjust it to any width and use it with any liquid, including underglaze. The learning curve is to mix the underglaze with the right amount of water to match the consistency to the width of the line. It takes some practice. But there's no squeezing involved! I use this when personalizing wedding gift platters, to write the names of the couple and the wedding date. 

https://www.amazon.com/PRO-ART-40415-Pro-Ruling/dp/B004XL1D26

Great tip Mea, I'll be ordering one!

On 11/16/2017 at 2:56 PM, Joseph F said:

What in the world....

Well, you see, the pen has to be issued a passport to get across the border, so it costs extra...

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6 hours ago, dAO said:

Update for anyone following:  I've been trying these various suggestions with some amount of success.  What I'm happiest with so far (like....really happy)  is the Minnesota Clay Graffito paper.  It's a much fast method than anything I've tried to date:  as fast as simply tracing a design and it's a really clean, solid  and smooth line, completely variable in width depending on what type of tool I use.   At first, I was having trouble with it sliding around a bit, but I found that completely taping it down and just scribing over the tape works really well.  

Thanks for posting back about your testing :) Would be lovely to see your results with the Graffito paper, sounds interesting.

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3 hours ago, Benzine said:

 

Well, you see, the pen has to be issued a passport to get across the border, so it costs extra...

It's a lot worse than that! Cost of a passport is less than some of the markups, some are just ludicrous like this one versus this.  We use a shipping drop box place in WA and order a fair amount of supplies in then make a run across the border to pick them up. Even with the occasional duty charge it's worth it for a heck of a lot of stuff.

   

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