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mrpeders

carving clay

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I finally have a bowl I'm content with, and it is bone dry greenware at this point. If I wanted to try some surface carving or scratching, can I slowly mist some water onto the bowl and wrap it in plastic to get it damp enough to carve? If I've read correctly, you can use sgraffito on leather hard or bone dry greenware as well as bisqued pieces. Which is best for a smooth, clean carved line? Thank you for your help.

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Sgraffito is best done on leather hard ware. Anything drier and you will not get a good cut. It cannot be done on bisque ware. You can rehydrate your dry pot by adding water bit by bit. It will take a while, though.

 

 

 

Thank you.

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Ditto on the carving at cheese hard or leather hard .... and go very slowly on the rehydration. Nothing direct or drastic. I lay a piece of plastic on a table, put the pot on it and place a damp towel around it ... Not touching the pot anywhere ... Then mist it and cover snugly with plastic. Re mist as needed until the pot is where you want it.

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At bone dry, you can do a water resist technique. Here's a video on one approach.

 

 

I prefer just slightly drier than leather hard, but not bone dry for wax etching technique. I'm not a big fan of adding a ton of water to a bone dry pot, especially the smooth clay bodies that are needed for that technique. Way too much risk of cracking. And the guy in the video is rubbing really hard, which I also don't recommend. If you want tips on how I do it let me know and I'll post them.

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post-6933-133788132459_thumb.jpg

post-6933-133788131971_thumb.jpg

post-6933-133788132459_thumb.jpg

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At bone dry, you can do a water resist technique. Here's a video on one approach.

 

 

I prefer just slightly drier than leather hard, but not bone dry for wax etching technique. I'm not a big fan of adding a ton of water to a bone dry pot, especially the smooth clay bodies that are needed for that technique. Way too much risk of cracking. And the guy in the video is rubbing really hard, which I also don't recommend. If you want tips on how I do it let me know and I'll post them.

 

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So I dampened the bowl slightly, and it seems to be okay for the resist idea.

I did watch the video, and wondered if I could use latex or wax resist. So I tried the latex which seemed less difficult, and the latex I brushed on came off and moved even during gentle sponging. Back to square one. I removed the resist, and I'm thinking I'll try the wax.

 

Yes, Neil, please send me your tips. Your lovely sample pics show something like what I'm trying to achieve.

 

This is almost funny, but I've been working for several months now, and most of my efforts go back into the bag to be rewedged and reworked. I hate to mess up something I'm finally happy with.

 

Thanks for your help.

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I use plain old wax resist, not latex or shellac. I trim the pot, then let it set up until it's just past leather hard, otherwise the wax takes forever to dry. Then I brush on the design with the wax, and wax everything else that I don't want to get etched- the foot, lip, etc. Let the wax dry completely. Don't try to rush it. To etch, I center the pot on my wheel and just hold it in place with pressure on the top. Using cold water and a very wet sponge, I hold the sponge against the pot as it turns, with light pressure. After half a dozen or so rotations I flip the sponge to the other side. After another half a dozen rotations I rinse it and repeat. If too much clay builds up on the sponge, it will abrade the wax. Fine detail will get eaten away if you etch too deep. Once you get used to it it's pretty quick and easy. Sometimes I cover the whole pot with dark slip before etching, and then do some additional fine carving afterward..

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I use plain old wax resist, not latex or shellac. I trim the pot, then let it set up until it's just past leather hard, otherwise the wax takes forever to dry. Then I brush on the design with the wax, and wax everything else that I don't want to get etched- the foot, lip, etc. Let the wax dry completely. Don't try to rush it. To etch, I center the pot on my wheel and just hold it in place with pressure on the top. Using cold water and a very wet sponge, I hold the sponge against the pot as it turns, with light pressure. After half a dozen or so rotations I flip the sponge to the other side. After another half a dozen rotations I rinse it and repeat. If too much clay builds up on the sponge, it will abrade the wax. Fine detail will get eaten away if you etch too deep. Once you get used to it it's pretty quick and easy. Sometimes I cover the whole pot with dark slip before etching, and then do some additional fine carving afterward..

 

 

 

Thank you so much.

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Does anyone else remember seeing a video of someone using a garden hose to remove the clay in the wax resist technique? I'm thinking it was a fairly well known potter and there was good water pressure on the pot but I can't remember how it was held in place?? Obviously an extremely forgiving clay body.

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wow Chris...that is extreme!!!

Here are two different ways to carve:

The celapost-1954-133794579535_thumb.jpgdon piece is carved at leather hard stage. The shellac resist is done in several stages after bone dry using a difference colored slip at each stage and then gently scrubbed with a sponge.

post-1954-133794602339_thumb.jpg

post-1954-133794579535_thumb.jpg

post-1954-133794602339_thumb.jpg

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At bone dry, you can do a water resist technique. Here's a video on one approach.

 

 

I prefer just slightly drier than leather hard, but not bone dry for wax etching technique. I'm not a big fan of adding a ton of water to a bone dry pot, especially the smooth clay bodies that are needed for that technique. Way too much risk of cracking. And the guy in the video is rubbing really hard, which I also don't recommend. If you want tips on how I do it let me know and I'll post them.

 

 

 

Fantastically gorgeous pieces! Let me know when you host a seminar! lol. biggrin.gif

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Neilestrick

When you say you etch with the sponge, I am confused as to what that is. Do you mean the sponge removes clay from around the waxed design? Or do you etch a design with a sponge? SOrry for being so dense,

Nancy

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Neilestrick

When you say you etch with the sponge, I am confused as to what that is. Do you mean the sponge removes clay from around the waxed design? Or do you etch a design with a sponge? SOrry for being so dense,

Nancy

 

 

No problem. Where there is wax, the clay is protected. Where this is no wax, the sponge removes the clay bit by bit.

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Neilestrick

When you say you etch with the sponge, I am confused as to what that is. Do you mean the sponge removes clay from around the waxed design? Or do you etch a design with a sponge? SOrry for being so dense,

Nancy

 

 

No problem. Where there is wax, the clay is protected. Where this is no wax, the sponge removes the clay bit by bit.

 

 

 

Thank you, Neil. I understand now!!

Nancy

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I finally have a bowl I'm content with, and it is bone dry greenware at this point. If I wanted to try some surface carving or scratching, can I slowly mist some water onto the bowl and wrap it in plastic to get it damp enough to carve? If I've read correctly, you can use sgraffito on leather hard or bone dry greenware as well as bisqued pieces. Which is best for a smooth, clean carved line? Thank you for your help.

 

 

Leather hard or just over is best. For a nice, clean line I've learned to get these great little sponge tips from the art store that are meant for smudging pastels. Put it on the tip of your clay knife and hydrate it slightly so that you can run it along the lines of your work to finish off your edges. I've found it invaluable for high relief carving on my pieces. Also, when spraying down your work with a spray bottle, set it as far to mist as possible. Clear the water from around the base of your work to avoid stress cracks in your future, and step away from the piece until the surface is free from any pooled moisture. I live in an extremely arid climate and I've carved pieces for months this way without creating stress cracks in the high talc clay body I work with. Best of luck and have fun!!!

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Chris, I don't know about a viseo but I seem to remember an article in Pottery Illustrated. I can try to dig it up if you'd like.

 

Pam

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So I dampened the bowl slightly, and it seems to be okay for the resist idea.

I did watch the video, and wondered if I could use latex or wax resist. So I tried the latex which seemed less difficult, and the latex I brushed on came off and moved even during gentle sponging. Back to square one. I removed the resist, and I'm thinking I'll try the wax.

 

Yes, Neil, please send me your tips. Your lovely sample pics show something like what I'm trying to achieve.

 

This is almost funny, but I've been working for several months now, and most of my efforts go back into the bag to be rewedged and reworked. I hate to mess up something I'm finally happy with.

 

Thanks for your help.

 

I use latex on bisque for glaze resist.

Marcia

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If it is already bone dry or bisque, you can try a hand-held carving/engraving tool,

such as a Dremel tool. You get many attachments for them, including cutting, grinding and polishing.

Use a dust mask.

 

On dry clay the high speed tool bit will give a smooth clean line, unlike the splintering effect that scratching or carving will do on dry clay.

 

http://www.dremel.co...es/default.aspx

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