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Mark (Marko) Madrazo

Low Fire Pottery

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Marko--this is the other tip that flowerdry referenced--it is just a little different--I don't know what thread it was posted in, but I saved it for my own "tips" file. There were no pics. 

 

Coloring in lettering-stamp the lettering into the mug, then bisque. Paint glaze onto the text area only, to fill in the grooves - then wipe off the excess. Apply a wax resist OVER the lettered section and then glaze the entire mug.

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Marko,

 

I believe this is the process, that Doris was referring to:

 

http://ceramicartsdaily.org/pottery-making-techniques/ceramic-decorating-techniques/how-to-use-slip-inlay-with-wax-to-create-thin-lined-decoration-on-pottery/

 

I've used it several times, for fine writing, and creating drawings/ illustrations on various wares.  It works extremely well.  

 

One extra step, I usually take, is to have the image/ lettering I want done on a piece of thin paper.  After the base coat of underglaze is dry, I'll hold the paper on the clay surface, and trace over the design with a dull pencil.  That will leave a small impression on the surface, that can be seen through the wax resist.  That way, you don't have to free hand, when you go to etch through the resist.

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Marko,

 

I believe this is the process, that Doris was referring to:

 

http://ceramicartsdaily.org/pottery-making-techniques/ceramic-decorating-techniques/how-to-use-slip-inlay-with-wax-to-create-thin-lined-decoration-on-pottery/

 

I've used it several times, for fine writing, and creating drawings/ illustrations on various wares.  It works extremely well.  

 

One extra step, I usually take, is to have the image/ lettering I want done on a piece of thin paper.  After the base coat of underglaze is dry, I'll hold the paper on the clay surface, and trace over the design with a dull pencil.  That will leave a small impression on the surface, that can be seen through the wax resist.  That way, you don't have to free hand, when you go to etch through the resist.

Thanks Socratic Potter for the link and your kindness in helping me. I am looking at this asap. Have a great day.  

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Marko--this is the other tip that flowerdry referenced--it is just a little different--I don't know what thread it was posted in, but I saved it for my own "tips" file. There were no pics. 

 

Coloring in lettering-stamp the lettering into the mug, then bisque. Paint glaze onto the text area only, to fill in the grooves - then wipe off the excess. Apply a wax resist OVER the lettered section and then glaze the entire mug.

Thanks again LeeU, this is certainly worth trying. I have been pressing letters into mugs, but did not think to cover them with wax. Have a wonderful day. 

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Do y'all use the "alphabet soup" noodle letters or ones made specifically for ceramics and purchased? Sources? Preferences? Cautions and tips? 

I use plastic letter stamps I bought at Hobby Lobby. They are the blue ones. I think they are half inch. I like using them, but be careful with how hard you press them in clay, they are about 1/4" depth. 

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The only issue I have with ^6 is that one of my kilns won't quite get there. I was thinking about the low fire solution, but after reading these posts, I think I'll just try again to tweak that faulty kiln. One more time. sigh.

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Marko,

Alligator Clay in Baton Rouge has an earthenware that fires a little hotter than most-^1-2.

Its a good clay.

When I was in Montana, I ordered special blends of Raku by the ton (min order for custom blending).

But being in South Texas, I wouldn't think about ordering clay from Washington state. Shipping would kill any practical

reason. Have you check Trinity Clay in Dallas or Armadillo in Austin or the House of Ceramics in Houston.

I think we are going to lose Clayworld in San Antonio soon.

 

http://alligatorclay.com

 

 

Marcia

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Marko,

Alligator Clay in Baton Rouge has an earthenware that fires a little hotter than most-^1-2.

Its a good clay.

When I was in Montana, I ordered special blends of Raku by the ton (min order for custom blending).

But being in South Texas, I wouldn't think about ordering clay from Washington state. Shipping would kill any practical

reason. Have you check Trinity Clay in Dallas or Armadillo in Austin or the House of Ceramics in Houston.

I think we are going to lose Clayworld in San Antonio soon.

 

http://alligatorclay.com

 

 

Marcia

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I made my kids some name mugs when I started throwing again. I used a set of alphabet stamps ($1 bin at Target, already had them around) and just stamped into the wet clay. I brushed a dark glaze into their names, then wiped it back and covered the pieces in a paler color of glaze. Worked just fine, used Georgies cone 6 glazes on one of their clay bodies (I've tried almost all of their mid range clays, pretty sure I was using G-mix at the time though).

 

Carving through wax resist does get a nice crisp line though!

 

It's important to be honest with yourself about how much time you want to invest in this type of request though. If it was a piece for a wedding or birth, hand carved lettering would be a nice way to elevate the work. Name items? I'd stick with stamping, but that is just my point of view. Stamps can also be used to add decorative motifs, and either left plain (just a recessed design) or filled with a contrasting stain, underglaze or slip.

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Have you considered doing laser transfers for your words? You print them yourself so the price is really reasonable.

 

You make your piece, bisque fire, then glaze, glaze fire, finish by applying the transfer and firing again to bisque temp. If you want additional color use an overglaze to color in parts of the laser transfer. I have attached a couple examples so you can see the detail possible with this technique as well as a piece I added additional color afterwards in the red hearts.

 

post-22921-0-15195400-1437860832_thumb.jpg

 

post-22921-0-54029400-1437861113_thumb.jpg

 

T

post-22921-0-15195400-1437860832_thumb.jpg

post-22921-0-54029400-1437861113_thumb.jpg

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Marko,

Alligator Clay in Baton Rouge has an earthenware that fires a little hotter than most-^1-2.

Its a good clay.

When I was in Montana, I ordered special blends of Raku by the ton (min order for custom blending)from Seattle Pottery.

But being in South Texas, I wouldn't think about ordering clay from Washington state. Shipping would kill any practical

reason. Have you check Trinity Clay in Dallas or Armadillo in Austin or the House of Ceramics in Houston.

I think we are going to lose Clayworld in San Antonio soon.

 

http://alligatorclay.com

 

 

Marcia

 

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Another approach would be to follow that used in a lot of the ceramics industry: high fire for the bisque firing to give a strong, non-porous pot, and then low fire for the glaze firing to get the colours you want. The downside is that with the initial high firing the pot won't be porous enough to soak up the glaze, so you'll need to play with application methods, and probably use less water and a binder in the glaze to get it to adhere to the pot.

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Marko,

 

I use a cheap $85 HP Laserjet Pro P1102w printer. I get the transfer paper from Decalpaper.com

The important thing is whatever printer you use it needs to use toner and print ONLY black and white no color. The toner needs to have iron in it that is what makes your image when you fire it everything but the iron brims away and it melts right into your glaze making it food safe, dishwasher safe, etc. You also need to print 1 sheet at a time giving the printer time to cool down inbetween or your could melt the transfer to your print head. I usually print a whole sheet cut out all the designs, which is a lot since I fill up every squar inch of paper, and by the time I have cut everything out I can print the next page, etc.

 

I would suggest getting a small pack of the transfer paper and see if you can find a printer to borrow to start unless you have one of these type printers hanging around. Test if it will do what you need before investing in a printer and a large quantity of paper.

 

I use this technique to put custom names and dates on pieces even those that have the rest of it hand painted. It makes for nice clear legible wording and even better tell the customer to email you exactly what they want on the piece and simply cut and past that way there is less danger of getting it spelled wrong or something.

 

I hope this helps.

 

T

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Have you considered doing laser transfers for your words? You print them yourself so the price is really reasonable.

 

You make your piece, bisque fire, then glaze, glaze fire, finish by applying the transfer and firing again to bisque temp. If you want additional color use an overglaze to color in parts of the laser transfer. I have attached a couple examples so you can see the detail possible with this technique as well as a piece I added additional color afterwards in the red hearts.

 

attachicon.gifimage.jpg

 

attachicon.gifimage.jpg

 

T

 

Your in Helen GA? I drive through there pretty often when going to check on my grandmother. I will have to stop by and look at your pots with pugs on them. Freaking pugs, so adorable. I had a puggle, my brother is her pack leader now though, I had to spend a lot of time away from her. 

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I would think that one approach to clarity in text and imagery at higher temperatures would be to use a mishima, or inlaid slip, technique.  Stamp or incise your image into the slightly soft clay, fill the area with colored slip, scrape down to reveal the image, and fire with a clear glaze.

 

This is what I was going to suggest. ^^

 

Stephen: To share my experience with low vs. mid fire: At first I wanted to do only low-fire because there's more range of color and the glazes stay put. One of the first things I made was a slab built plate at my friend's studio dipped in a mid-fire Laguna glaze, fired with her load to ^5. About six months later I made four more plates the same size and shape, decorated them with animal and letter stamps for my son, and glazed them with low-fire glazes, fired to ^05. Within six months, one of the low fire plates had cracked in the middle; the others all had at least one chip. The ^5 plate had seen six months more use and it had not a scratch on it. Fast forward a year or two and the ^5 plate has one chip in the rim; the others have so many that I just want to make them over. One of them I've thrown away. Seeing firsthand how much more durable the mid fire functional ware was is what convinced me to move to ^5 - ^6 instead of ^05. I'm sure ^10 is yet more durable and I have a feeling I'll move in that direction eventually. 

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I get lots of colors with cone 5 and under glazes. I put on two to three coats of underglaze, and just cover with a clear glaze and fire to cone 5 or 6. I don't see a difference in the final product. I do have to work at getting the underglaze smooth/no brush marks. If anyone has ideas for that, it would be great!

post-6053-0-69895400-1438870317_thumb.jpg

post-6053-0-69895400-1438870317_thumb.jpg

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I get lots of colors with cone 5 and under glazes. I put on two to three coats of underglaze, and just cover with a clear glaze and fire to cone 5 or 6. I don't see a difference in the final product. I do have to work at getting the underglaze smooth/no brush marks. If anyone has ideas for that, it would be great!

I would like to know too. Those brush marks are sometimes very obvious.  I have applied underglaze after trimming my mugs with 3 coats, before adding a handle. That help some. 

post-64410-0-69305500-1438996396_thumb.jpg

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post-64410-0-69305500-1438996396_thumb.jpg

post-64410-0-15741700-1438996398_thumb.jpg

post-64410-0-93707000-1438996398_thumb.jpg

post-64410-0-27693100-1438996400_thumb.jpg

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Some things I do to deal with brush marks (all my glazes are currently brushed):

 

1. Any time I notice a glaze has an issue like it goes on thick, thin, or streaky, I note it on the lid so I remember. Some of my glazes say 4 coats, some say 2, even though the manufacturer says 3. One says, bubbles around handles and slip trailing.

 

2. If the glaze is streaky, I will first try adding one extra coat. Do something you don't really care about but bigger than just a sample so you can really see what it's going to do. If it bubbles or crawls, it's probably too thick. So then I try applying one coat horizontal strokes, one with vertical strokes, one with diagonal strokes. It works pretty well for most glazes.

 

 

My Laguna Spring Green streaks no matter what I do, it desperately wants to be a dipped glaze only. I'm saving my pennies.

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I have found to get really nice smooth finishes with underglaze that it helps to paint it on greenware at the leather hard to hard leatherhard stage. If you do it on bone dry I have used a mister to spritz the surface and then apply the underglaze with a water color wash brush. I think some of the streakiness might be from the clay absorbing the pigments too quickly and making it hard to get a nice even coat. If you have any painting experience think of how a watercolor wash goes on water color paper, you always dampen the paper before doing a wash otherwise you get streaks. I have found bone dry clay reacts a lot like dry watercolor paper. I also always apply the underglaze in up down layer then left right layer then the diagonal layer if I think it needs a final coat. Another thing I will do if it's on a fairly large area with no other decoration like for a background once it is dry, wear a mask, and lightly buff the underglaze with your index finger to smooth out any brush strokes. A final step is after this I sometimes also spritz it once more with water to dampen and compact the dry pigment.

 

There is no one answer in every undeglaze application to getting flat smooth underglaze layer you kind of have to try several methods and then remember (and this is the hard part!) which works under which circumstance.

 

I hope this helps.

 

T

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I have found to get really nice smooth finishes with underglaze that it helps to paint it on greenware at the leather hard to hard leatherhard stage. If you do it on bone dry I have used a mister to spritz the surface and then apply the underglaze with a water color wash brush. I think some of the streakiness might be from the clay absorbing the pigments too quickly and making it hard to get a nice even coat. If you have any painting experience think of how a watercolor wash goes on water color paper, you always dampen the paper before doing a wash otherwise you get streaks. I have found bone dry clay reacts a lot like dry watercolor paper. I also always apply the underglaze in up down layer then left right layer then the diagonal layer if I think it needs a final coat. Another thing I will do if it's on a fairly large area with no other decoration like for a background once it is dry, wear a mask, and lightly buff the underglaze with your index finger to smooth out any brush strokes. A final step is after this I sometimes also spritz it once more with water to dampen and compact the dry pigment.

 

There is no one answer in every undeglaze application to getting flat smooth underglaze layer you kind of have to try several methods and then remember (and this is the hard part!) which works under which circumstance.

 

I hope this helps.

 

T

Yup, I agree. I have tried the water and also brushing on greenware. I too have found it to work well. I post some pictures to nancylee comment. These were done like you suggested. Check em out. And thanks for your help. 

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