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About Beestie

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  • Birthday August 13

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  • Location
    Western Australia
  • Interests
    Photography, business, boating, hanging with my kids and family.
  1. Hm, ok, maybe the babies are just too young, but the sample I posted above comes from a photographer who's clients are newborns. And I do get a nice imprint, it just completely disappears as the clay dries. I went and purchased a new clay yesterday, very very soft porcelain, and it was a disaster! I managed to get lovely prints, it's like marshmallow, but lifting them off the board to move to the racks to dry they just stretch and get all distorted. I've tried three with this clay now, and while they do seem deeper and able to keep the impression even as they dry, they are stretched an unusable. The clay is really hard to work with compared to the earthenware, being so soft and sticky. I can't cut a fresh slab of it, it's just a pile of goo in my hands, and I worry about the air bubbles for firing. I'm doing three per client now, just to trial different approaches, but so far just not getting the same results as in the image I posted.
  2. Thanks everyone, this has been really helpful. Rae, I think you are right, good advice. Taking a piece through to the finished product would be a much better learning experience. I'm working with a local pottery supplies store who is advising on clay choices and doing the firing for me. I really don't want to do go down the plaster/mold route as I worry about the extra time it takes to do this in studio. I wasn't intending to glaze mine. I love the unglazed look in the link above, and you can see in that example that the print is perfectly deep and well defined. I'd need to glaze if the print is remaining on the surface as mine is. High Bridge Pottery, I was advised not to recycle the clay or use my offcuts for this, but only to use a slab cut from a fresh block to avoid air bubbles. Was this not advice you would follow? I purchased a very soft clay yesterday, a porcelain clay that the potter said she would fire at a lower temp, but being behind a glass frame it would be fine. This clay is almost too soft! But I can see how I could easily get a better impression from it. It's just much harder to cut and roll smooth than the earthenware I was using. I have another crash test dummy in studio today...lets hope for better results!
  3. Mark, would plaster give that same lovely finish as in the samples I posted? Air drying and polymer clay just isn't anywhere near it.
  4. Thanks everyone. Loads of great info here. My head is spinning but I feel like I'm getting somewhere. I have tried polymer clay in the past but it just doesn't give the same result I'm after. I've attached images of what I'm trying to achieve. It never occured to me these were created by taking plaster moulds first. I've spoken to clients who have been to this artist and they tell me that she was working with a slab of clay and pressing the feet in, then firing. No matter how hard I pressed, I could not get such a deep impression.
  5. Thanks so much for your reply. Ah, ok, so I understand about the shrinkage...so to compensate that, deeper impressions, or softer clay might help? I really want to use clay, to make it a lovely, unique framed keepsake. Many others are doing 3d plaster type moulds. I'm not sure we can push any harder mind you, I'm pushing on those tiny hands and feet pretty hard as it is. I'll keep practising and see what results different products bring, thanks again.
  6. Hi All, I'm not only new to the forum, I'm completely new to clay in general. I've been in forums for years in my own industry (photography) and I do realise how frustrating these questions can be. Please go easy on me, I've already paid it forward and done my time in the trenches helping newbies I run a photography studio in Australia, specialising in newborns and after 15 years in business, we've decided we'd like to offer simple clay impressions, framed with our images, to our line up. Sounds so simple in theory, but I'm really struggling with this. Firstly I've not been able to find a clay that is really soft. To my mind, I'm pressing way too hard on the babies foot. I have been assured this is not the case, and have done a couple of online courses to see the best approach. After a few false starts, I did a couple of impressions last week that worked out beautifully...nice deep impressions with loads of detail and lines of the feet showing. So three days later i go to check out how they are drying to find there's barely an impression visible! The clay has flattened out again so that I can barely see a foot mark, let alone any detail. I REALLY want to crack this, but it just seems like I'm not getting anywhere. Can anyone offer any reason at all why this might be happening? I've had someone say that the clay may contain too much moisture, but then I've also had someone tell me that the clay can be wet to make it softer for baby's feet, and there was no mention of it being too moist. Please...anyone?
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