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What to use to sketch on leather hard clay?

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I want to sketch some small symbols into a leather-hard sculpture, but I need to be able to remove them if I don't like the placement. I can't use a pencil because it leaves an impression in the roughened texture of the clay. Is there something else that can be used?

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pretty much anything you can sketch with will leave an impression. You can try something like a permanent marker, as the ink will burn off ... but if you are using soft leather hard it will leave an impression and ruin the marker ... hard leather hard might not leave an impression, but would be your best bet ... you'll have to scrape it off to re-work your sketch though ... so 50-50 results.

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You could try the method that fresco painters used in the Renaissance. Draw the design on paper and poke small holes along the most important lines. Hold the paper onto the clay and press some kind of organic powder through the holes. The painters use a "ponce" which was a cloth bag filled with powder - charcoal or cornstarch- which they patted onto the drawing.

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If you sketch the design on paper with a marker you can transfer it to the pot by placing it against the pot and wetting the paper with rubbing alcohol. You don't even have to worry about doing it backwards since you can trace the pattern on the other side of the paper and use it.

I did this many years ago ... I think you can just wipe it off with a wet sponge if you don't like it, but you might have to low fire it ???? Not sure.

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Draw your image on paper. Then tape lightweight drycleaner plastic over your drawing and trace your image with a Sharpie. Now you can take the thin, clear plastic sheet and position it anywhere you want on your piece to see how it will look. When you like the placement, just trace over the lines with a stylus or dull pencil to transfer the lines to your pot.

 

If you find your image is too small or too large, just take your original drawing to a copy machine and re-size the image. Then use the plastic bag trick.

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Draw your image on paper. Then tape lightweight drycleaner plastic over your drawing and trace your image with a Sharpie. Now you can take the thin, clear plastic sheet and position it anywhere you want on your piece to see how it will look. When you like the placement, just trace over the lines with a stylus or dull pencil to transfer the lines to your pot.

 

If you find your image is too small or too large, just take your original drawing to a copy machine and re-size the image. Then use the plastic bag trick.

 

 

 

 

That's a great idea!

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I like that trick with the clear plastic - totally makes sense!

 

A trick I learned years ago was to take a WASHABLE Crayola marker and draw/trace your image on paper - then when you're ready for image transfer, lightly spritz the leather-hard clay with water, stick image on and rub flat, wait a few seconds for water/ink to absorb into clay and then remove paper = in transfers over w/o denting the clay. if you don't like the positioning, wipe with a sponge.

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I want to sketch some small symbols into a leather-hard sculpture, but I need to be able to remove them if I don't like the placement. I can't use a pencil because it leaves an impression in the roughened texture of the clay. Is there something else that can be used?

 

 

All of the other replies assume you want to trace an image or images. If you just want to draw straight on the leather hard clay I usually use a very fine brush and food colouring. The food colouring can be wiped away with a damp sponge or if left on the piece will just burn off in the bisque firing.

 

Terry

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Wow, I think they call this an "embarrasment of riches". So many good suggestions that I don't know which one to start with. I didn't know that sharpie markers or food coloring would burn off. That's useful to know when you don't want to risk an indentation in the clay. If the surface were smooth, I wouldn't worry about having to wipe out a slight indentation, but the surface is textured, so I would probably make a mess of things trying to get rid of the indentation. But all the suggestions will doubtlessly come in handy on this project or an upcoming one.

Thanks, Jayne

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most markers will burn off because they contain organic dyes, unless you find one that uses minerals for colorants. I don't know of any besides what are already made specifically for ceramics (under/over glaze pens and underglaze pencils)

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A little help here ... There is a type of marker that does not fire off because of the ingredients, but I cannot remember which one.

Does this ring a bell for anyone?

 

 

Gold paint pen/markers leave a copper color line after bisque firing.

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A little help here ... There is a type of marker that does not fire off because of the ingredients, but I cannot remember which one.

Does this ring a bell for anyone?

 

 

Chris,

 

I read somewhere (Clayart?) that there was a common black permanent marker that would stay on after firing to cone 6. I went to the office supply store and bought one of everything they had, about $20 worth of markers and tried them all. Not one of them worked.

 

Just recently I read that if you write on top of fired glaze with a sharpie and then bake it in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes it would be permanent. Haven't tried that yet. I was thinking it might be fun to do a mug with a special white glazed area surrounded by some other glaze and sell it with a sharpie and instructions.

 

http://www.thesweetestoccasion.com/2012/07/diy-sharpie-dinnerware/

 

http://indulgy.com/post/d9VD6CO0M1/sharpie-bake-mins-at-dollar-tree-mugs

 

 

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