Week 2 Slip ‘n’ Surfaces

What we did this week: 


wipe away wax etching

line sgraffito

negative space sgraffito

foot-of-the-week: peg legs

lip-of-the-week: tool planed lip

glaze-of-the-week: celadon


We had an added bonus this week as Nina shared her results from a wax etching technique.


(nina’s temoku bottle)

You paint wax in any kind of design on bone dry porcelain  before-wiping-with-wax-applied

You can use B clay too; I don’t recommend stoneware or any grogged clay as wiping those clays raises an unattractive gritty surface.

Once the wax has thoroughly dried, take a quite wet sponge and start wiping the surface as you want to wash and wipe the the top layer of the surface away. The wax will protect the clay under it.after-wiping

You can even do it over colored slip as this person did. wax-etching-over-colored-slip-on-porcelain


What I wanted to demonstrate in this class was the 2 basic types of sgraffito: line drawings where the decoration is the line which is the color of the clay underneathunfired-line-drawings-sgraffito-glynnis

 This is black slip over porcelain

and the opposite of that where one carves away negative space, leaving one’s images out of the colored slip. This latter is the type that I usually do.me-doing-negative-space-sgraffito(yes, yes I look old- my son took this)

I recommend using wooden sticks instead of needle tools for line drawings as they have a much nicer line quality and don’t raise a burr-even a nice sharpened pencil will do. 

I also use a fluffy makeup brush for clean up (you can see both tools on the left side of the photo); waiting until the little burrs are stiff and dry and then brushing them away with the big soft brush. A stiffer brush could scratch your slip or push the burrs of slip back down onto the surface, re-adhering them.


foot-of-the-week: peg legs

Last week I talked about peg legs but had no images. This week I demo’d them again.

To make sure your legs are all the same size, make your balls of clay all at once and make them uniform.rolling-into-balls-allows-you-to-make-sure-theyre-all-equal Then roll them into legs.rolling-simple-peg-legs

Score both the surface of the pot and also the leg where it’s going to attach. I use water to adhere.


Once the legs are on, you can make sure they are even and won’t rock despite not being able to turn over your wet pot,  by setting a board on top of your upside down form.handy-leveling-technique


lip-of-the-week: tool planed lip. 

One of the options for a lip on a hand built or (less common) a thrown piece is the machined lip.


I demonstrated both these tools as ways of finishing lips on handbuilt pieces.

I like them both although I have much more experience with the Sure Form which you can buy in any hardware store.

The other  (an “edge rounding tool”) gives a much smoother, burnished finish than the Sure Form and also compresses as it goes. I ordered mine for roughly 20$ from Bailey’s Ceramic supply. 

Neither of these should be used on very wet work. They really work best (or at all!) on leather hard pots. And don’t forget! The Sure Form only works in one direction but it corners beautifully.

I don’t have any good photos of the results. I’ll try to rectify that in the future.


glaze-of-the-week: celadon

This is a very dependable fallback glaze. It looks great on stoneware and has a lovely clear green-tinted quality. The big benefit of Celadon is it is clear enough to show your designs but doesn’t look dead on stoneware as Shaner Clear does. It doesn’t absorb iron like the Shaner does and it looks great over blues and greens.

Here it is over the-finished-layered-slip-octopus-under-celadonHere it is over blue and green and white. This is from when I layered 3 slips (first white, then green then blue) on stoneware.

We also had some really cool student work this week that I thought I’d show:

This is Jamie’s inlaid oxide under Celadon piece

Terry’s delightful foray into slip carving (unfired)terrys-slip-carved

And Nina’s discovery that you can “slip carve” with oxide if your pot is too dry to apply slip!sgraffitod-oxide

This is black oxide on porcelain applied and carved bone dry  (don’t inhale the dust!)

Finally, we got back  the demo piece from last week showing what Shino water over white slip on stoneware looks like:white-slip-over-stoneware-with-shino-waterSadly, this is the ONLY photo of it intact as I was traveling home with too many loose pots on the back seat and had to slam on my brakes and even though many ugly pots survived, this one now has a chip out of the rim. 🙁  Note the Shino Glaze on the rim and some orange blushing but I didn’t leave any actual glaze on the inside.