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Carving letters in greenware


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#1 Bette

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:25 PM

I would appreciate advice about how to carve letters (words) in greenware. I want a hand-written look, not stamped. What's the preferred tool or technique to get a clean result?

The clays I am using are mid-fire range: one is a buff with extra fine grog; the other is coarser with 35 mesh grog and 60 mesh sand.

Thanks for the help!

#2 neilestrick

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:42 PM

Trace out the letters with a needle tool, get some small carving tools and set aside a lot of time......Seriously, that's about all there it to it. it will take a lot of time and patience.
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#3 GEP

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:15 PM

No matter what tool you use to carve the lettering, just leave all the burrs and crumbs of clay on the pot, and allow them to dry. When the pot is bone dry, buff off all of the crumbs with a dry scrubber pad.

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#4 perkolator

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:11 PM

for something like this, i prefer to trace/map out the design/letters first, then carve them on not quite leather-hard clay - then when it's leather, go back over it to clean up burrs and press grog deeper into the clay (think burnishing technique/timing). i don't like the surface of bone dry clay that gets scotch pad'd surface - it's like trying to smooth clay with water, which removes the fine clay particles and leaves the rough grog/large particles on the surface.

#5 Pres

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:47 PM

I would appreciate advice about how to carve letters (words) in greenware. I want a hand-written look, not stamped. What's the preferred tool or technique to get a clean result?

The clays I am using are mid-fire range: one is a buff with extra fine grog; the other is coarser with 35 mesh grog and 60 mesh sand.

Thanks for the help!


I like doing calligraphy with B type Speedball nibs. However, I really didn't like using them in clay when I wanted to do something with a varied line width. I found that bamboo chopsticks make great incising tools for a varied width type calligraphy. I take the thick side and file/sand it to a wedge shape, and make certain it is even across the chisel. I turn the other side and use a pencil sharpener to point it, then dull it slightly. This makes a nice smooth regular incising tool that does not burr up as much as needle tools or some other incising tools.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#6 audbyrd

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 07:43 AM

Have you tried using resist and dipping the piece in slip after? I haven't tried this but it's possible it could work.

I would appreciate advice about how to carve letters (words) in greenware. I want a hand-written look, not stamped. What's the preferred tool or technique to get a clean result?

The clays I am using are mid-fire range: one is a buff with extra fine grog; the other is coarser with 35 mesh grog and 60 mesh sand.

Thanks for the help!



#7 minspargal

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:25 AM

i place a piece of thin plastic(dry cleaning bag plastic) that i wrote on with a sharpie marker and then put it on leather hard clay and trace with a very dull pencil, doesn't leave burs.

#8 Isculpt

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:44 AM

i place a piece of thin plastic(dry cleaning bag plastic) that i wrote on with a sharpie marker and then put it on leather hard clay and trace with a very dull pencil, doesn't leave burs.


What an awesome idea! I've been pondering this same problem, but you've solved it beautifully both by using the sharpie to get the lettering the way you want it, and by using the plastic to make a clean incision. I can't wait to try it! Thanks for this!




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