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Cavy Fire Studios

How Do You "mark" Your Pot?

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I have been thinking of making a stamp for myself to use as my artists' mark on my work. I've been using a ballpoint pen to mark my work by just putting my initials and the year, but...that seems so lame. I think a wee guinea pig would be so much more fun. My little business is "The Earthen Cavy," and my moniker is "The Guinea Potter," so I think it would fit pretty well. ^_^

 

How do you guys mark your work? Stamps? Initials? Monographic flourishes?

 

(A cavy is a guinea pig. Useless trivia. ;) )

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Just make your own stamp from clay -bisque fire it and walla a working stamp-make a spare as you could break the original.

I do not stamp my work I sign it with butt end of an aluminum needle tool-always have done this.The stamp is faster but I was a slow learner.

Mark

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I have to echo the recommendation of  @LeeU for Joel Socwell at www.4clay.com.  Having a laser cut wood or synthetic stamp is a step up from making your own bisque version.  I used my bisque stamps for several years and found myself trying to make duplicates when I chipped (or dropped) the bisque version.  Granted, bisque stamps work and I still make a bunch for patterns and textures, but I like my laser cut version...and, it makes a GREAT Christmas gift!

Having said all that, I still sign most of my footed pieces using an Exacto knife (see below).  There is a story behind the texture...and yes, it takes a few minutes...but when I am finished, I know it i something I produced.

clay_signature_sm.jpg

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I made a bisque stamp of my signature. signed a block of plaster, pushed clay into the carving and bisque the clay. Make several, one will work better than the others.  Do the carving of the plaster with dental tools .  You can try the carving out as you work on it, just keep tweeking until it gives a clean line.  works great.  I did this outside the studio, to keep plaster dust from creeping into other things.

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I use a bisque stamp. I made the stamp by carving the design into a small, round, plaster block that I cast using a foil lined muffin tin. Then the clay was pushed into the plaster and bisque fired. My clay stamp is cylindrical and has the design on both ends. I keep the plaster master and can make more from it. I used several of the plaster rounds to make designs for clay sprigs to add to pots.

 

John

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I use a small bisque stamp for most of my work. Like clay lover I carved the design into a piece of plaster, then pressed some clay into the design to make its reverse mate, then bisque fired the clay. The benefits of this approach are that you don't have to design the stamp backwards, and if you lose/break the bisque piece you can make a exact duplicate from the plaster original.

 

I have a larger rubber stamp that I use for plates and platters that I build on hump molds. These pieces give me more room for a larger stamp. A rubber stamp will stick to clay, but a little corn starch will prevent that:

http://www.goodelephant.com/blog/new-logo-stamp

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Sig stamps are pretty easy by using a block of bass wood, and a dremel. Do your signature on the wood, carve the lines in with the dremel, and then press a slab into the surface adding a handle to the back. Remove carefully, trying ton to rock the slab too much. Bakers spray does help to release easily.

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In Warren MacKenzie's DVD, A Potter's Hands, he talks of making an irregular shaped object and needing to put a lid on it. Only problem was the lid would only fit 1 way. He decided to put his stamp on 1 part then he put "the potter's mark" on the other part.

 

Do y'all know what "the potter's mark" is? It kind of looked like a capital A. I have searched the web for it but cannot find "the Potter's Mark".

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In Warren MacKenzie's DVD, A Potter's Hands, he talks of making an irregular shaped object and needing to put a lid on it. Only problem was the lid would only fit 1 way. He decided to put his stamp on 1 part then he put "the potter's mark" on the other part.

 

Do y'all know what "the potter's mark" is? It kind of looked like a capital A. I have searched the web for it but cannot find "the Potter's Mark".

In Nathaniel Hawthorne's day, the potter's mark might have been a great big, red  "P" emblazoned upon the forehead...or perhaps I am getting my stories mixed up ('sorry, couldn't resist)..

-Paul

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I have a few porcelain bisque stamps, but rarely use them. I like to sign my name and it requires no back-pressure. I use a sharpened end (worn down a bit, not pointy) of a wooden needle tool. I used to date my pots, but it became embarrassing to display years-old-still-not-sold pots at sales, so I started using a code for the date.

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I've made a few stamps using Safety-Kut, which is technically a printmaking material but works well with clay. Carves very easily and even fine lines show up in the clay. You do need to dust either the stamp or the clay with cornstarch to keep it from sticking. Or you could carve a master stamp the right way around out of Safety-Kut and use it to make bisque stamps.

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When I was in school I sometimes stamped my initials with a small set of lead letterpress type I taped together, other times due to blissful ignorance or due to losing my letter stamp in my jumbled toolbox, I signed a number of pots. During our student holiday art sale I was enthralled with the shoppers choosing this piece, not that piece, fondle one but choose another. I finally couldn't stand it and began asking the people I knew as to why they chose this or that pot. Sometimes it was color, shape etc. but I had quite a number of people choose my signed pots because they were signed. Their reasoning was it seemed more genuine, a literal "signed" work of art. I did what I could to explain the pots are exactly the same, but I could see their point. Haven't stamped a pot since. (Although I wish I learned the date trick a bit sooner.)

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Jet Stamps....commercial lucite manufactured from your design - I did my last name with my finger on an ipad app and emailed it. The owner worked with me to determine the final product....

 

+1 for Jet Stamps. Easy to work with and fast turn around when I used them earlier this year.  However, due to the owner's illness, they are  temporarily closed.  Website indicates that they will likely re-open in early 2015.  Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

 

http://www.jetstamps.com

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A gallery owner in Santa Fe once advised me to do this: sign my name--fast--legibility did not count. Then stamp a clear image of my name. Finally, stamp my chop. The chop is the traditional Japanese ancient "stick figures" characters with a border. This functions almost as a "certificate of authenticity."

 

 
 
 

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In today's digital/social media age, how many are using email addresses or websites stamped into the bottom of their pots.  If so, any feedback from customers on this?

 

-SD

I am doing more and more decal work on my latest projects and have added a small decal with clearly legible name and web site...and on some the city, state.  I thought about the stamp idea, but it seems like a lot of info to put in a small space.

 

Would love to hear what others think,

-Paul

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