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cstovin

Add saying plate or carving sayings into mugs

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Hi all

One more question :)

I wanted to make some mugs, and either add another small slab to the top of the mug that has a saying on it, or carve a saying directly into the mug

How you get the words to be smooth?  Is there a tool that makes this kind of thing easier?  I can see using a needle tool, but it always leaves slag.

If I used a slab/plate and attached that to the mug, it is better to use waterslide/decal paper?  Are stamps the preferred method?

Also, my handwriting stinks :)

I searched the site, but it didn't return what I was looking for, but I am sure someone posted something here like this before

 

 

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This is a tool I made from a piece of 5/16" brake line that works very well on leather hard clay. It can be made with a hacksaw, round file, pliers and a vise. Any little nubs created during your carving can be brushed off or wiped off when dry.

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Hope this helps...

JohnnyK

 

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Yeah, a needle tool, tends to leave a burr, not that it can't be easily taken care of.  Generally, you'll probably want a deeper, wider carving anyway.  So a small loop tool, may work better.  There are also a lot of various carving tools, that will work, that can be found from various art suppliers.  And as @JohnnyK aptly demonstrated, there is nothing wrong, with making your own!

To get rid of any burr, just brush across them, with a stiff brush, when they have dried a bit.  Then go over it with a damp sponge.

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You can wait until the pot is nearly dry then sand the burrs off rather than try and wipe them, if you've carved in the design freehand. Also smooth tipped tools, like wooden tools or a ball stylus will do a better job than carving with something sharp. I've a collection of rubber alphabet stamps, and I prefer stamping because it doesn't leave burrs. I got the sets from the $2 bin at a big box craft store and others from thrift stores that are incomplete but they have ampersands and other symbols. They look quite nice used with ceramic and are already reversed. If I was going to make lots of the same saying on mugs I'd make my own bisque stamp, this works better than most other materials (polymer clay tends to stick but it's doable). Try cut pieces of plastic grocery store bags over the spot you're stamping/carving, IMO they're easier to handle than pieces of plastic wrap. 

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Well Cstovin, I’m sorry but the answer is not that simple. There isn’t one answer.  

The key is to try and then choose what works for you. 

All that you mention works.  But you have to figure out what works for you. You can also use brush and underglaze. Or get type writer letters. 

Ive tried many different ways and find I like a variety depending on the message I’m writing.  

Ive even used just a ballpoint when the clay is the right consistency. 

Johnny wow that’s quite a tool. Reminds me of a fountain pen.  

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If you "google" ball stylus for clay (or just search major ceramic suppliers) there are many tools available. Putting thin grocery bag pieces, as Yappy suggests, between the clay and the tool is a big help if you don't want to deal with burrs. I also use the ends of bamboo skewers, knittiting needles, various sticks, or a porcupine quill, depending on the type of lettering or lines I want. 

 

Edited by LeeU

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I have also found that the sharp point is not the one to use, try a point that is more rounded as it will not leave as much of a burr. I have also done lettering with a brush, and commercial engobe. I had quite a bit of trouble getting the lines even on bisqueware, even when using a 0 brush. Then I found that I could do better by rubbing off the excess on a commercial sponge brush. . . then better yet, just load the sponge brush and load my 0 brush from the sponge brush. The Quick Tip appeared in Ceramics Monthly in Sept. 2018 page 10. If you do not have access to that you can find it on my blog site.

 

 

best,

Pres

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the tool to use for writing, drawing or any other incising in clay is called a BALL STYLUS.   they come in lots of sizes, from about as small as the type you  are reading to almost a 16th of an inch.  

a dull pencil works, too. but it gets duller as you use it.

use the correct tool for the job to make it easier.

Johnny K, you have made the tool i have been trying to buy for years.  i will pm you.  thank you.

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The real 'trick' for managing burrs is timing - if the clay is too moist, or if the clay is not moist enough, rough edges are dominant.  The 'right' time depends also on the type of tool being used.  'ball-point' tools compress and often make smoother edges; cutting tools leave sharper edges (and crisper looking text) that can be softened with a sponge at a slightly drier state than needed for cutting.  Practice on slabs to find the out the right moisture level for your clay body and your tools and techniques, then begin to use the technique on the mugs and thrown items.  

This technique is a subset of Sgraffito (and Mishima) decorated ware.  Sgraffito tools come in many sizes, shapes, types, etc. - store bought and homemade. I make mine using bobby pins and comfortable sized dowels (or sticks from trimming shrubs). 

 

LT 
 

Edited by Magnolia Mud Research
added Mishima technique

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Better than a dull pencil, a basic, wood-handled needle tool can be sharpened to almost a point and refined with sandpaper or concrete for a long-lasting scribing tool. This feels the most comfortable for me to use when drawing or for signing my work. Minimal burrs can be brushed off with a finger or rubber rib when dry.

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I do simple things and the tool I use is … wait for it … an old ball point pen. 

Honestly it works great. if you want to take it up a notch once you write on the letters let it dry a bit and scape off the crumbs of clay. Then mix up some slip with iron / cobalt / whatever colorant you like and then cover the letters with the slip . Again wait for it to dry a bit (but not too long) and scrape off the excess with a plastic rib or just an old credit card to avoid scoring the clay. This is a Japanese technique called Mishima and it looks so cool. You can even mix the mishima and relief carving. 

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