Monday, May 21, 2012

Learning to Paint Ceramics

Last week I cashed in on my Christmas gift from Greta and Daniel and joined Greta at "Out of the Box", where she works. As she taught a group of 8- to 10-year-olds, I sat in the corner and painted my bisqueware teapot. She gave me instructions to paint it in three layers, allowing it to dry between each coat. Then, when her class was over, she helped me dip some lace into a bucket of slip (liquid clay). I wrung it out, and the two of us carefully draped it around the teapot, spacing the points evenly, all the while being careful not to drag the lace across the surface which would mess up the paint job. It was a challenge, but we managed to do it. We pressed the lace into the pot firmly and re-slipped the spots that didn't stick.

Then I waited patiently for the big reveal after it was fired. The danger was that the lace might slide or come loose during firing. This isn't a typical process, so no one knew exactly how it would turn out. 

Greta and I are both happy to report that it came out very well. Nothing slid or slipped, the color layer is uniform, and the details of the lace even show up. 

  When it was fired, the lace burned away, leaving only slip. What looks like applied lace is really just clay. Amazing, isn't it?


Greta Street said...

I was so impressed with how well it turned out!

Marj Swierenga said...

That is interesting. I thought it still was the lace. I'm glad you put the 2nd photo up b/c that one shows enough shine that I could see that it was the baked slip. Very cool.