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#1 Pugaboo

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:39 AM

Another Newbie here and struggling to blend my painting background with ceramic. I am taking my first pottery class and have sooooo many ideas in my head but am struggling to get them out and into the clay. I LOVE the look of sgraffito and carved ceramics especially if it representational not abstract. I just can't quite get a solid handle on achieving what I see in my head in the items I want to make.

The first thing I made was using a pinch pot, wanted to start with a basic form and method to get a "feel" for the Little Loafers clay I am working with. I designed what I am calling a Starry Night ornamental lantern... Long name I know but it describes it pretty well. To start I made basically an ostrich sized egg shape. I then punched star and small circle cut outs so a battery powered tea light could shine out. I made 2 larger holes at the top to run a wired ribbing through for hanging oh and I flattened the bottom a bit so it will stand by itself as well. I alsommade a larger hole in the back to slip the teal light through. It turned out pretty well but the next step will involve using a wax resist to draw snowflakes scattered across the surface and I have no clue how that works; will I be able to see the wet wax as I paint or will I being doing it blind? Once the resist is on I want to use a dark blue glaze to glaze the whole thing to make it the color of a late evening sky... Is is best to dip or bruch on the glaze? I am worried about filling the inside up with glaze and clogging the holes I cut... What method should I use to apply the glaze?

The 2nd project I started is a pinch pot with coil applied shaping to creat (hopefully) a figurine, i want to understand the coil process and what it can do....This one has a long way to go since applying the coils, shaping, checking, adjusting the shape is very time consuming for me right now. I should state that in the time I made the lantern started the figurine and a tray my fellow classmates have made 6-12 pieces each and I am feeling very slow and overwhelmed. I just want to understand what I am doing rather than just rolling a slab pushing it into a mold pressing some shapes into it and sending it off to dry. If I do that I feel like I don't really "know" what I am doing and at some point I am going to have to do this on my own. My husband says I am too much of a perfectionist and should just go for it. So any way struggling with the figurine I have set it aside and started a tray.

My 3rd project is a tray that I swear is getting bigger on me even though I used a mold! It seems so much bigger now than when I started the project. I THOUGHT I was picking something simple to do but now I have doubts. I pressed slab rolled clay into a rectangular form, trimmed the edges and pressed an old doily into 2 of the opposite corners to get deep impressions of the design, I even pressed the design into the top edge of the tray as well. Next I used one of my own drawings and transferred the image to the wet clay in the very center of the tray, the image is such that the doily patterns seem to off set it nicely. Now my next step is to carve out the outline of the drawing I transferred.... I am going crazy trying to figure out how and when it's best to do that! I want a smooth deep line so I can use black to fill in the lines (more on this later) but it what stage is is best to do this? Do I carve wet, soft leather, leather, hard leather, etc? I have searched hear and read all I could find and it's soooo confusing as there seems to be a wide range. I have a lwide variety of tools available to me but I don't know which are best to use. How deep do i make the lines? Maybe I have just bitten off more than I can chew? Once (and if) I get the lines carved out I want to file them with black underglaze to make look like a drawing. I would like to do a light wash of a raw sienna type color over the drawing but don't want to fill the lines, do I use a stain, underglaze, or something else to do this? Can I carve do the body wash allow it to dry then apply the black underglaze and wipe it off everywhere except for the lines? Will wiping remove the body color? The impressed doily designs I want to use a reddish brown underglaze and then wipe off the tops so it pretty much only fills the grooves. I have been trying since my last class to figure out if there is a way to dip the doily I used in different shades of underglaze or glaze and gently loosely apply the color randomly overlapping in some areas around the remaining parts of the tray. Plan to do a final clear glaze. Do I have to fire the tray in between each color I use? I am thinking underglaze for all but the last step might be best or would mason stains be better?

What am I not considering with these projects? My teacher is great but I don't want to take up all his time dealing with my questions when none of the others seem to have them! I love working with the clay and am completely hooked but in a few short weeks I am going to have to know enough to continue on my own until the more advanced class starts which I have to be prepared for and right now feel completely unprepared for and really overwhelmed even in my beginner class. I have been painting all my life and can't ever remember feeling like this, any pointers, help, suggestions?

Sorry this got so long! I didn't intend for it to be I just really want to succeed at this.
The world is but a canvas to the imagination - Henry David Thoreau

#2 trina

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:28 PM

My advice to you is : Just get started make lots of things experiment and go for it. That is the only way to learn. Get some books maybe follow a project or two that they are showing and then transfer that knowledge to your own work. T

#3 Brian Reed

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 04:26 PM

I like your ideas. I would follow the advice already given above. try new things and when you find something that you really like, repeat, and repeat again and again. make it your own. I see you have put tons of thought into what you are making which is good, but nothing like playing a little.
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#4 bciskepottery

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:15 PM

Project 1: add some food coloring to your wax; it will allow you to see where you are applying it on the white clay body.

Project 2: quality over quantity works everytime. Clay is not for those who are impatient. At the same time, do not obsess to the point you are not enjoying yourself. Once the fun is gone, well . . . its gone.

Project 3: I would probably add the black outline at firm leatherhard; you will likely need to scrape off any excess and color that goes out of your intended line and firm leatherhard is more forgiving, plus you don't have to deal with clay dust if you were to do this at bone dry. After letting the black set up, you can apply the wash, or wait until it has been bisqued. Check with your instructor to make sure there are no ingredients in the sienna wash and your clear glaze that might cause a problem. Better yet, make a small test tile, add some black, apply the wash, and then glaze it before your do your pieces. Testing will tell you if it works; better to waste a test tile than a nice tray. You will find that you will add stains, washes, at different times for different projects; no one answer fits all in pottery.

There are a number of books and DVDs that deal with surface decoration and how to do it, I can recommend ""Surface Decoration for Ceramics" by Maureen Mills as being a good one to start with (and not very expensive). DVDs you might find helpful include those by Kristen Kieffer and Amy Sanders. For your painting transition, check out Elizabeth Priddy's website; she also has a DVD on using Chinese brush work on clay.

Good luck.

#5 Pugaboo

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 04:51 PM

Thank you so much for the tips and suggestions. I have been watching some of the ceramic daily videos and find I REALLY like Erin Furimskys work with layers and textures. I will get a few books and a couple videos to try out. Since I don't have my own kiln yet I plan to purchase some clay from the studio ( they will only fire clay bought through them) to bring home and just play with it trying different things to see what works and looks good most of which I am sure will never be fired but I really feel like I need to know what happens when I try different things at different stages with the clay and doing that in class takes up too much time. From all I have read, learned, heard I can work with the unfired clay and then if it doesn't turn out the way I plan I can simply mash it back into a ball, add a bit of moisture if it needs it and bag it to bring it back to workability. I plan to practice wedging and kneading as well as slab rolling ( studio has a slab roller but I'll need to do it with a rolling pin), and coil making. Coil making is much harder than it looks! Mine tend to end up flat still or non uniform in thickness so spending some time just making coils is on the to do list. I am halfway through my first 6 week class and then between this class and the next I plan to dive into the clay and see what it has to say to me.

After I complete the advanced pottery class I can join the studio and pay a yearly fee as well as a monthly fee when I actually use the studio ... In other words I can fire my pieces in the studio kiln. It's a great compromise for me to start as I learn what I like to make and such. Once I join and start making more of my own pieces I'll be around other potters that have a lot more experience than I and can continue to pick up technique and knowledge from them. After a year or so if I find I want to go further and get my own kiln I'll do so and by then hopefully I'll know what kind I'll need to do the type work I like. I've played with the idea of getting a very small kiln to do things like tiles and such to test different things I am just not sure it's not better to wait until I decide if I want a full sized working kiln or not. Until I decide I will have to do up a bunch of tests and keep really good notes on what i did to each as I wait for them to be fired at the group studio. My only worry with that is what if something I test goes very badly I don't want to risk ruining someone else's work! Lots of things to take into consideration I guess. Books, videos and classes first then I'll worry about all that.

Again thanks for the input and suggestions.
The world is but a canvas to the imagination - Henry David Thoreau

#6 Idaho Potter

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:46 PM

I, too, converted from other forms of artistry. Painter; wood, stone, and bronze sculpture; until, finally, clay. At first, all my energies went to developing skills on the wheel and in handbuilding. I've never developed much skill with glazesPosted Image, and found myself hungry for color that glaze wasn't fulfilling. I started using underglazes and over the years this has become my favorite way of finishing my work. Primarily I use white raku clay and raku post-firing techniques. Pots are decorated with underglazes at the hard leather to bone dry stage, bisqued to cone 04. Then clear crackle glaze is applied and the pots are fired to somewhere around cone 06 and transferred to the smoke cans.

I also use underglazes on stoneware (the smoother, the better) and bisque to ^04 and glaze fired to ^6. I use clay as my canvas, and most underglazes can be mixed just as you would oil or acrylic paints. However, some underglazes do not follow "what you see is what you get", rule. If you go this way, my strong suggestion is that you make large tiles and develop a palette of colors--from individual colors to mixes in various hues. Fire the tiles (half with clear glaze) so you can see what works. Many clear glazes tend to have a bad way of interacting with some colors--especially oranges, yellows and greens.

Good luck, and as several others have said, keep experimenting and practicing.

Shirley

#7 Pres

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:34 AM

Another Newbie here and struggling to blend my painting background with ceramic. I am taking my first pottery class and have sooooo many ideas in my head but am struggling to get them out and into the clay. I LOVE the look of sgraffito and carved ceramics especially if it representational not abstract. I just can't quite get a solid handle on achieving what I see in my head in the items I want to make.

The first thing I made was using a pinch pot, wanted to start with a basic form and method to get a "feel" for the Little Loafers clay I am working with. I designed what I am calling a Starry Night ornamental lantern... Long name I know but it describes it pretty well. To start I made basically an ostrich sized egg shape. I then punched star and small circle cut outs so a battery powered tea light could shine out. I made 2 larger holes at the top to run a wired ribbing through for hanging oh and I flattened the bottom a bit so it will stand by itself as well. I alsommade a larger hole in the back to slip the teal light through. It turned out pretty well but the next step will involve using a wax resist to draw snowflakes scattered across the surface and I have no clue how that works; will I be able to see the wet wax as I paint or will I being doing it blind? Once the resist is on I want to use a dark blue glaze to glaze the whole thing to make it the color of a late evening sky... Is is best to dip or bruch on the glaze? I am worried about filling the inside up with glaze and clogging the holes I cut... What method should I use to apply the glaze?

The 2nd project I started is a pinch pot with coil applied shaping to creat (hopefully) a figurine, i want to understand the coil process and what it can do....This one has a long way to go since applying the coils, shaping, checking, adjusting the shape is very time consuming for me right now. I should state that in the time I made the lantern started the figurine and a tray my fellow classmates have made 6-12 pieces each and I am feeling very slow and overwhelmed. I just want to understand what I am doing rather than just rolling a slab pushing it into a mold pressing some shapes into it and sending it off to dry. If I do that I feel like I don't really "know" what I am doing and at some point I am going to have to do this on my own. My husband says I am too much of a perfectionist and should just go for it. So any way struggling with the figurine I have set it aside and started a tray.

My 3rd project is a tray that I swear is getting bigger on me even though I used a mold! It seems so much bigger now than when I started the project. I THOUGHT I was picking something simple to do but now I have doubts. I pressed slab rolled clay into a rectangular form, trimmed the edges and pressed an old doily into 2 of the opposite corners to get deep impressions of the design, I even pressed the design into the top edge of the tray as well. Next I used one of my own drawings and transferred the image to the wet clay in the very center of the tray, the image is such that the doily patterns seem to off set it nicely. Now my next step is to carve out the outline of the drawing I transferred.... I am going crazy trying to figure out how and when it's best to do that! I want a smooth deep line so I can use black to fill in the lines (more on this later) but it what stage is is best to do this? Do I carve wet, soft leather, leather, hard leather, etc? I have searched hear and read all I could find and it's soooo confusing as there seems to be a wide range. I have a lwide variety of tools available to me but I don't know which are best to use. How deep do i make the lines? Maybe I have just bitten off more than I can chew? Once (and if) I get the lines carved out I want to file them with black underglaze to make look like a drawing. I would like to do a light wash of a raw sienna type color over the drawing but don't want to fill the lines, do I use a stain, underglaze, or something else to do this? Can I carve do the body wash allow it to dry then apply the black underglaze and wipe it off everywhere except for the lines? Will wiping remove the body color? The impressed doily designs I want to use a reddish brown underglaze and then wipe off the tops so it pretty much only fills the grooves. I have been trying since my last class to figure out if there is a way to dip the doily I used in different shades of underglaze or glaze and gently loosely apply the color randomly overlapping in some areas around the remaining parts of the tray. Plan to do a final clear glaze. Do I have to fire the tray in between each color I use? I am thinking underglaze for all but the last step might be best or would mason stains be better?

What am I not considering with these projects? My teacher is great but I don't want to take up all his time dealing with my questions when none of the others seem to have them! I love working with the clay and am completely hooked but in a few short weeks I am going to have to know enough to continue on my own until the more advanced class starts which I have to be prepared for and right now feel completely unprepared for and really overwhelmed even in my beginner class. I have been painting all my life and can't ever remember feeling like this, any pointers, help, suggestions?

Sorry this got so long! I didn't intend for it to be I just really want to succeed at this.


I started out with a teaching degree in art. I was a jack of many crafts and arts, mastered none. I did become more proficient at drawing, painting and ceramics. That said, I believe strongly that a mix of craft and fine art gives one more juice to draw from. I often find things that I do with clay leaking into painting, or vice versa. I enjoy both, but feel more grounded in the clay. No, don't plant me yet! :Dsrc="http://ceramicartsda...t/biggrin.gif">

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


#8 Pugaboo

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 06:54 PM

It's so funny you should mention preferring to paint your pottery with underglazes. I had already been leaning towards doing just that. I think by doing most of my coloring with underglazes or stains and then doing a simple clear top glaze is going to give me the look I am interested in. It was nice to read that another painter had already decided the same thing. Now I just need to learn the ins and outs of using underglazes. I have started doing searches here on it and more online as well but I would really like a couple of good books covering the subject; can anyone recommend a good book or 2 on using underglazes to finish your pottery? Do I need to worry about matching my underglaze brand/formulas to my clay body? What about the clear glaze? I'd like to buy some of the Amaco semi moist glaze sets to try out just not sure if I need to know if they will work with Little Loafer clay or not. What I do not know could fill an ocean but I'm am determined to do this.

Here is my most recent piece no where near done but maybe it will help explain more what style I am starting to play with. The Pug in the center has been carved out and the 2 circles in the corners are a doily imprint. Hope to finish the Pug with an underglaze in a raw sienna color along with black lines kind of like pen and ink. The doilies plan to try a reddish brown glaze or maybe an underglaze not sure which is best to use with the color being wiped off so only the indents hold the color. I hope to add some additional lace type details using stencils or stamps using underglazes in varying complimentary colors. Then the whole thing will be glazed with a clear glaze. Provided of course it makes it through the drying and bisque stages. my teacher once again stressed today that sometimes things don't work out and to be prepared for that. I think he was worried how much time I have put into the tray but I assured him as a painter I have devoted many hours to a painting or mural only to realize I had screwed up the perspective or something somewhere and had to redo it; didn't make the same mistake again so I learned from it and I know that's going to happen a lot as I learn a new art form.

What things do I need to know to do what I have described? It's going to be fired in the stoneware mid range of cone 6 I think? Oh by the way in case you haven't figured it out I'm a planner and tend to plan out everything before I ever pick up a paint brush or now a lump of clay. It's just the way I work best get a picture in my head and work out how to get it out into the world.

Thanks again for all the help.
The world is but a canvas to the imagination - Henry David Thoreau

#9 Benzine

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 07:37 PM

One interesting thing, you can do with a doily and some underglaze, is to slightly press the doily into the clay, then brush over it, with various underglazes. You then remove the doily. It's a nice little imprint, resist combination.
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#10 Pres

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:07 PM

One interesting thing, you can do with a doily and some underglaze, is to slightly press the doily into the clay, then brush over it, with various underglazes. You then remove the doily. It's a nice little imprint, resist combination.


I use doilies, lace, weed leaves, silk leaves, branches, anything over my glazed pottery, then I use a spray gun/atomizer to blow stains and underglazes onto the surface through the materials. This give me a start for some sort of paint direction with brush and more stain. I like using the lace for underbrush, and working layers of stain into the surface. After firing, the stains settle into the glaze as inglaze technique.

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#11 bciskepottery

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:12 PM

I also handbuild with Little Loafers. What I like about Little Loafers is that it is a Cone 6 white stoneware with a porcelain feel; what I dislike about Little Loafers is that it is a Cone 6 stoneware with a porcelain feel. It is a smooth body, but it can have a tendency to slump a bit in firing (like porcelain) and you need to be real good on joints/joins or it cracks (like porcelain). But I use it extensively; it just takes a while to get to know its idiosynchracies.

Regarding underglazes and stains . . . I have used both underglazes (Amaco, Spectrum) and Mason stains mixed with Helios porcelain slip on Little Loafers with no problems of fit. I generally apply (by brush, sponge) at leatherhard and let the two finish drying to bone dry together. I use a clear glaze that I mix myself. If you use a commercial clear, you need to pay attention to the codes Amaco, Mason and others list for each various underglaze or stain. Some react with zinc (and other ingredients) in a clear glaze. So, your challenge will be to match your clear glaze to the colors you use.

There are various ways of applying color to the doily and them removing color to leave the highlight. Some apply the color, let it dry and then scrape the color off the high points with a metal rib. Others remove the color using a damp sponge. Some use little green scrubbies made for cleaning pots, or metal scouring balls. In short, there is no one way to do this. You'll need to try different approaches and see what works best for you. Maybe make a couple of test squares with the doily impression and try different ways of removing the color from high points . . . find out what works for you and get some practice on developing a technique. Try removing the color at different stages . . . soft leatherhard, leather hard, bone dry (with a respirator so you avoid inhaling clay dust).

Being a planner is a good thing; before and as you make a piece to need to think about how you plan to add underglazes, etc., and how you will glaze the item. Too many pottery students are more focused on making an item and not how they plan to finish it -- and whether the piece they make can be finished the way they wanted. Don't be discouraged by bumps along the road; we all deal with them.

#12 Pugaboo

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 06:47 PM

I wanted to give an update. I've order the book surface Decoration for Ceramics recommended by bciskepottery and am just waiting for it to arrive in the mail. I also made up some test tiles that will dry quicker than the platter to test out the different techniques and colors with before using them on the platter. With the help of my teacher I removed the semi dry platter from its mold where is has been slowly drying and so far no cracks or warping so keep your fingers crossed we make it to the next step!

I have also ordered myself both 2oz sets of Amaco Liquid Underglaze so I can try out all the different colors to see which I like and will use the most before investing in anything larger. I was debating between the Amaco semi moist sets and the Liquid underglaze sets and decided to try the liquid under glaze sets first since according to their website I can do nice flat coverage areas as well as use them to do more detail work with a paint brush. I decided against the Amaco Velvet series because the description said they were semi transparent and wanted to start with an opaque coverage. Everything will be glazed with a clear glaze finish since I am most drawn to the under glazing look with a simple clear glaze on top and will be using that almost primarily when making items in my own studio.

That said I did paint the wax resist the the lantern and dipped it in CV Blue, which a dark blue. It was neat to watch the glaze break over the waxed snowflakes and scary to dip the whole thing in a bucket dangling from my finger to get the best coverage. It's being fired this week and I will get to see how it turned out next week in class.

I brought the Pug figurine home and have been working on it on my own. I am almost done sculpting it and need to decide if I have to slice it open to hollow out and even up the wall thickness or if I can manage to do so by cutting open the bottom and going in from there. I talked to my teacher and he suggested bringing it to class when I am ready and he would look it over and make a suggestion as to which I should do.

Wish me luck! And thank you so much for all your help and suggestions. This forum is so great for a beginning potter I've even started going back as far as I can and reading every posting to glean as much knowledge as I can.
The world is but a canvas to the imagination - Henry David Thoreau

#13 Claypple

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 12:09 PM

I, too, converted from other forms of artistry. Painter; wood, stone, and bronze sculpture; until, finally, clay. At first, all my energies went to developing skills on the wheel and in handbuilding. I've never developed much skill with glazesPosted Image, and found myself hungry for color that glaze wasn't fulfilling. I started using underglazes and over the years this has become my favorite way of finishing my work. Primarily I use white raku clay and raku post-firing techniques. Pots are decorated with underglazes at the hard leather to bone dry stage, bisqued to cone 04. Then clear crackle glaze is applied and the pots are fired to somewhere around cone 06 and transferred to the smoke cans.

I also use underglazes on stoneware (the smoother, the better) and bisque to ^04 and glaze fired to ^6. I use clay as my canvas, and most underglazes can be mixed just as you would oil or acrylic paints. However, some underglazes do not follow "what you see is what you get", rule. If you go this way, my strong suggestion is that you make large tiles and develop a palette of colors--from individual colors to mixes in various hues. Fire the tiles (half with clear glaze) so you can see what works. Many clear glazes tend to have a bad way of interacting with some colors--especially oranges, yellows and greens.

Good luck, and as several others have said, keep experimenting and practicing.

Shirley

I converted from been a pottery collector. Could not find what I had in mind, so decided to try to make it by myself and succeeded!
Took several classes, but what really helped was "You tube" videos and this forum. And reading a lot of literature on the ceramics!



#14 marci blattenberger

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 05:41 PM

Hey guys,
Im late to the topic but hope this will be of interest:

for anyone who is a painter and potter, you should consider china painting.. We literally paint as you would with watercolor , using the white of the porcelain as watercolorsist use the white of the paper... and we typcally fire layer on layer of color . Its also possible to do other interesting effects like gold, metallic colors, interference colors, fusing pieces of glass to the porcelain , textures etc ...
But the best thing is that it is a WYSIWYG process, so it is literally like painting on a canvas . The low firing range ( cone 108 to 015 ) allows us a huge range of color.

My specialty is portraiture...

We have an online group where we teach porcelain painting . www.PPIO.com and there are a lot of lessons and pieces to look at on our forum at www.PPIOforum.com

I also invite any inquiries at marci at PPIO.com

I have attached a few files so you can see my work .

" Lauren" is on an 8 x 10 porcelain tile and is a featured piece on the current Paragon Kiln catalog.

"Dale " is a piece painted on one of my handbuilt porcelain plaques ( abouit 9 x 9 .. the ginko leaves are colored with underglaze.. but the rest of the piece is china paint with Mother of pearl luster in the background to replicate the mother of pearl inlay I saw when I was teaching in South Korea. The portrait is of my translator , Dale )

" Seara" is on a 12 inch porcelain plate.... painted with china paint with raised gilded and white textures and dichroic glass fused on. Cat hair was used to create the background textures .

Attached Files



#15 Pres

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:34 PM

Hey guys,
Im late to the topic but hope this will be of interest:

for anyone who is a painter and potter, you should consider china painting.. We literally paint as you would with watercolor , using the white of the porcelain as watercolorsist use the white of the paper... and we typcally fire layer on layer of color . Its also possible to do other interesting effects like gold, metallic colors, interference colors, fusing pieces of glass to the porcelain , textures etc ...
But the best thing is that it is a WYSIWYG process, so it is literally like painting on a canvas . The low firing range ( cone 108 to 015 ) allows us a huge range of color.

My specialty is portraiture...

We have an online group where we teach porcelain painting . www.PPIO.com and there are a lot of lessons and pieces to look at on our forum at www.PPIOforum.com

I also invite any inquiries at marci at PPIO.com

I have attached a few files so you can see my work .

" Lauren" is on an 8 x 10 porcelain tile and is a featured piece on the current Paragon Kiln catalog.

"Dale " is a piece painted on one of my handbuilt porcelain plaques ( abouit 9 x 9 .. the ginko leaves are colored with underglaze.. but the rest of the piece is china paint with Mother of pearl luster in the background to replicate the mother of pearl inlay I saw when I was teaching in South Korea. The portrait is of my translator , Dale )

" Seara" is on a 12 inch porcelain plate.... painted with china paint with raised gilded and white textures and dichroic glass fused on. Cat hair was used to create the background textures .


Nice work-quite nice!

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


#16 oldlady

oldlady

    single firing an electric kiln to cone 6

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:34 PM

to all you previous painters of whatever skill level, i envy you. there are 3 stretched blank, white, canvasses sitting in my house waiting for me to get the nerve to touch paint to them. the layer of dust on the plastic cover is now about a quarter inch thick.

so, marci, i understand the place you are now in clay. i like all the pictures of your work so far and hope it all meets your expectations after firing.

but don't worry so much, try stuff out that you see on You tube. i can watch many of them for hours. you will soon notice whose work is the kind you would be proud to make, and whose is not the direction you want to travel. planning is important but tangents sometimes lead to !?!WOW!?!

watch all the live potters you can find, visit studio settings where people actually produce work. there are lots of potters within an hour of your location, wherever you are. find them through your supplier and ask if you can visit their workspace to just watch. then just watch. take a notebook and think about what you want to ask but don't pepper them with questions until you have seen their entire process. (picture me asking you why you used that particular brush on your painting) try to just think and absorb what is happening. one of the important things i tell everyone is GO TO YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY! look at all of dewey decimal 732. even if they only have a few books, they can get more from libraries all over.


if you continue long enough, the biggest thing you will learn is that you are not making a product, you are learning a skill. do not expect to keep even a tenth of what you make in the first flush of excitement. save some so you can look back later but you are learning, do not expect perfection. mashing up the clay when it doesn't meet your expectations is only the beginning. keep a hammer near the kiln you finally get and use it often.

the clay forgives your mistakes, learn to do the same. above all ENJOY it! and think about my blank canvas getting moldy.

"putting you down does not raise me up."




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