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Throwing a plate.

April 24, 2012

Now that I have discovered the slide show function, I’ll show you how a pet portrait plate is made.  (I have some photos of me painting a pet portrait so you can see how the layers of color are built up, however that will be the subject of my next post.)  Here I’m using an earthenware clay that comes from a brick factory here in Nova Scotia and is dug directly out of the pit.  I am so spoiled because it is such a fabulous clay to work with on the wheel.  In order to have consistency in the size of the plates, I weigh the balls out, here I’m using a 5 lb. ball which will give me a 12″ diam. plate.

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Decorating a Large Mug with Slip.

April 22, 2012

Here is a sequence of brushing wet coloured clay or slip on a large mug.  Compare the look of the white slip on the mug to the white slip on the teapots I posted previously.  The difference is about 2 days of drying under very thin plastic.  The plastic, a dry cleaning bag, is only put over the mug after the white slip has lost it’s sheen otherwise it will badly mark the surface of the white clay.

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Wet slip

April 1, 2012

I love decorating with slips or liquid clays.  I have chosen a very traditional earthenware process; to decorate my pots before they have been fired.  This has advantages and disadvantages.  The big drawback is always being aware of the humidity in the air as this controls the drying of the clay.  The pot is clay and the decoration is clay and both have to shrink at the same rate so they stick together.  The advantage is that you get to decorate on the most luscious surface.  Take a look at these teapots.  I have to let the surface dry a bit more before I decorate but isn’t that just so wet!ImageImage

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The Olive Pattern

March 25, 2012

I’ve been very tardy in posting to my blog but now I am.  Here goes.  I have always been fascinated with variation on a theme.  This particular variation is color.  Here are two plates with the same pattern but decided to see what happens if there are glazed with different colors.  I like how similar they are but how very different in feeling.

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Casting, Scraping,Drilling,Wiping,Numbering

November 29, 2010

Now using the rubber master, I have made a number of working plaster molds to use in casting the ornament.

Plaster mold ready for casting.

The casting slip is poured in and allowed to dry.

Filling mold with slip.

Filling the mold with casting slip

Now the back has to be scrapped smooth.

Scraping the back smooth.

A rubber stamp with the pottery logo is stamped on the back.

Stamping on the logo.

When just right, the ornament is popped out of the mold.

Knocking the ornament out of the mold.

Next a hole is drilled through the ornament so a ribbon can be used for hanging

Drilling a hole in the ornament.

Now the edge of the ornament has to be carefully wiped smooth with a damp sponge.

Wiping the edge smooth.

The last step in this part of the process is to number the back, as this is a limited edition. Once the edition is finished the ornaments are not remade.

Numbering the back.

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2010 Limited Edition Christmas Ornament

November 25, 2010

Our 19th Limited Edition Christmas ornament is now finished and in our shop. I thought over the next few posts I would show what is involved in making this come about.

The Finished Ornament

After deciding on an idea, the process starts with a drawing. We decided on a poinsettia an image linked to the holidays.

Rings are cut into a plaster slab, the drawing is transferred with carbon paper and then the image is carved into the plaster. The progress of the image is checked frequently by pressing Fimo into the depression.

When this stage is finished, a casting is made to get the image and the rings raised up. The lettering is carved into this side, so the glaze will pool down in the letters when fired.

Plaster is now cast on this carved and lettered image to get a slab with everything reversed. Pam pressed Fimo on the finished slab and modeled an ornament complete with lug, which takes the hole for the ribbon. Plaster is then cast on top of this Fimo model.

Now I will pour a two part rubber compound over the plaster to get a rubber master mold. From this master, all the plaster working molds will be cast.

In the next post, I will show the casting process.

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Show pieces are ready

May 3, 2008

I thought I would post the results of my efforts for the show. I talked about the Trellis Jar and will make comments on the other pieces in future posts. Just thought you might be interested to see the results.