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Member Since 15 Feb 2013
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 08:39 PM

Topics I've Started

Anyone Else Doing Silkscreening On Clay?

24 January 2016 - 06:26 PM

I am In the testing stages of creating and using silkscreened imagery on my pottery. I am coming to the point I find myself using the same type images again and again and hand painting them repeatedly isn't a very cost effective use of time. So now that I know the type designs I like to use more than once I have decided to try using silkscreening to make the process more efficient. Never done it before, am learning as I go. The image in the plate here is my Black Luv Pugs design made from one of my own Pug paintings.

I have made a couple of screens and used them to create a few sample pieces.

I am currently using Underglazes that I have prepped for screening. To prep them I let them dry out until they are the consistency of that school paste we used in grade school. I used a white slip for painting in the back ground on one plate and a white underglaze on another so I can compare them. I have not yet tried slips through the screens. I am wondering if there is something I should be aware of using slips as the background instead of Underglazes? The same question for using slips through the screens.

I already figured out I need to make a separate screen for parts of the design. On the test plate shown here I made a screen with the hearts and the paws on the same screen, you can see where I got a bit of black into some of the red hearts. I hope I am right in thinking that if I remake the design as 2 screens paws on one and hearts on another it will fix this problem.

I did make the pugs as a separate screen, but messed up and put the image reversed when I exposed the screen so had to use the wrong side of the screen to get the pugs oriented correctly. It works but will need to figure out how I did that wrong so I don't repeat the mistake again.

The paws and hearts as well as the pugs are on ezscreens and have no frame. I can conform the screen to the shape of the plate with these but they are limited in size. I have a large design (16x20 or so) I want to put on a screen with a frame but haven't attempted this yet.

I am hoping someone else here might be able to give some input to help a beginning silkscreener avoid some pitfalls?


What Is The Difference Between Silica 200 And Silica 325 Mesh?

24 January 2016 - 05:46 PM

I am starting to set up a basic slip and glaze pantry. When recipes call for silica do they want 200 mesh or 325 mesh? What is the difference and if you were to have one and not the other which is best to have?

I ask because I have a slip recipe asking for silica AND a glaze recipe asking for silica but no number. The website I will order from has the 2 different mesh numbers. Do both recipes use the same mesh?


Help With Designing A Simple Handle For Mugs For A Class

20 January 2016 - 06:55 PM

I have been asked to teach a class this summer at the local art center. This class will be for adults and most of the students will be elderly with only limited or basic clay expertise. There will be some mobility and dexterity issues. I have decided to do a class on Designing Dinnerware. By the end of the class, and the summer, students will have a dinnerware set for four. I will have them make for each place setting a dinner plate, salad plate and cereal bowl. For drinking vessels I am thinking either juice glasses and mugs or iced tea glasses and mugs. Mugs have been requested to be part of the set no matter which other glass I go with.

I have everything but the mugs figured out. I've come up with a method to make the plates and bowls that create nice stackable dishes that are very easy to make and get good results. For the glasses I have made bisque molds for the students to use to create these so it's just a matter of wrapping the clay around the form and adding a bottom.

I am down to the mugs, already have the bisque mold designed for the body but the handle is the issue. These are elderly people with arthritis so from past experience I know rolling coils is difficult for a lot of them. They have no extruder and do not have the expertise or dexterity to pull handles.

I am wondering if they could use the slab roller to roll out a slab 3/8 inch thick, thicker than normal I know, but I made a bunch of my own handles and cross sectioned them and the thickest parts seem to be about that. Once they have the slab rolled have them use a ruler to cut out a strip of clay about 1 inch wide by however long I figure out it needs to be. So they will have a strip 3/8 thick by 1 inch by __ long. I am thinking they could use a rubber rib or sponge to shape the edges so they are not angular, this would also compress the edges. Have them shape the handle curve by laying it on its side on a board and then let it firm up enough to hold it's shape before scoring and attaching to mug.

What issues will there be with handles made like this? Will they be strong enough? More prone to cracking, etc? Your suggestions and input are much appreciated and I will be testing handles out before class of course.


Most Popular Mug Size?

18 December 2015 - 11:35 PM

I'm trying to figure out if the new mugs I am working on are big enough. I thought my old mugs were a nice size since they held 8 ounces but have been told else wise many many times. Soooo new mug will hold an easy 16 ounces and maybe as much as 20 ounces going to the rim. My new mugs look huge to me, do people REALLY want mugs that will hold this much stuff?

What is your most popular selling mug size?


My New Mugs With 2 New Hand Painted Pugs On Them

15 December 2015 - 11:54 PM

I just finished these new mugs and wanted to share!

I mentioned elsewhere that I have designed a new mug size and shape for myself using my extruder and a plate I made as well. The photos show my new design. I have fired 1 blank prototype and it looked good so decided to go ahead and paint up a couple hand painted Pug mugs.

To get this started, the mugs in the pictures were created using my Scott Creek extruder with the expansion box and a hollow wooden die I designed. The handle was also made with the extruder and a commercial handle die. Once the mug body was pulled I added the slab bottom and the paddled the mug into a more pleasing shape. Well a more pleasing shape to me anyway since the extruded blank looked more like a stein than a mug. I gave it a nice round bottom portion with a waist that flows out into a nice curved lip. The handles were added added after the paddling. I didn't do anything too extreme to it as I need a surface I can paint on as well as get my transfers to adhere to but wanted more of a curvy shape to it.

The Pugs are free hand painted onto the surface, I just kind of made the first one up as I went along. After I got the first one done I then decided to try the same basic design but with a black Pug instead of a fawn. I didn't try to go for an exact duplicate, that's what transfers are for, I just wanted to use the same theme but with a different colored Pug. I painted the entire circumference of the mugs since I like a design that flows all the way around, I even decorated the handle.

I ran out of room to upload but I have even been working on a nice signature to hand sign my one of a kind pieces. This means even the bottom looks nice and I plan to take this even further as I see how the bottom fairs in the kiln.

I am calling this design Pug Blossoms and Bees. I haven't hand painted a lot of my mugs up until now as I haven't been real pleased with my mug results, I mean they were okay but the surface wasn't right for a handpainted image they needed to be fatter to give me more room to paint. I've done loads of boxes and some platters but not mugs.

The mugs are still drying so the colors in the photo will be more vibrant once I get them fired and then clear glazed. Am planning on a classic white interior and I will use Amacos Zince Free Clear on the exterior.

Oh and excuse the photos I snapped some quick pics when I finished today. I like to do this when I am working with a new design because all kinds of things show up in a picture that I never noticed while I was looking at it, it's kind of a way for me to check myself.