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Sgraffito chicken bowl -work in progress

I have been working in the clay studio, and havent shared many work in progress photos. In part, because 3d objects, like pottery, dont photograph well. A 2d photo does not accurately give the impression of holding and looking around a 3d object.

I have been working with a technique, called sgraffito, where the design on a pot is created by carving. It has a lot of similarities to printmaking, which makes it very interesting to me.

The design goes all around the pot, so instead of sharing a photo, heres a short video of the carved bowl. All the carving is done, but it still needs to be fired, so it is a work in progress.

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printing and handbuilding in the clay studio: 11 August 2019

I’ve been busy in the clay studio. It’s been a learning curve, but I have figured out the technique to transfer designs onto pots.

bees and flower design
shelf with bird and bee designs-ready for the kiln

Now that I know what I’m doing I started a new design for rice paper transfers. The theme is Trees and houses.

positive of the design

Today’s burn didn’t work out like I had hoped, but I have another screen ready, and will try again tomorrow

Using solar power to expose the design onto the screen

now it’s time for a new color: Electric Blue!!

Electric Blue Underglaze…drying to screen print consistency

I love surface decoration. One of my favorite forms is the rectangle or oval. It’s almost like a canvas for a traditional painting. Today I handbuilt a small oval plate.

painting white slip on an oval plate

And I love my critters! Spent some time working on new ones:

clay cat
clay cow
clay dog
another clay dog!

Stay tuned to see the progress!

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Printmaking at the Log Cabin Print shop 10 August 2019

I surprise myself all the time. I never thought I’d ever make functional pottery again, but I think it’s safe to say I’m obsessed! For the last couple of weeks, it’s all I’ve been thinking about.

Today is printmaking day at the Log Cabin Print Shop. I have my design more or less carved and ready to print. What do you think?

Ready to print!
The first proof
The finished linocut
Today’s printing session

We didn’t print as much as some saturdays, but we had wonderful company, and a chance to introduce two really good friends to each other. And of course, when I’m having fun, I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of us all having fun! See you all next Saturday!

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Painting/Printing on clay

I love jumping between and mixing mediums. I’ve recently been working in clay–after a long break.

greenware sgraffito pot
A ‘Greenware’ pot – carving done and ready for the kiln

I’ve been decorating with a technique, called sgraffito, where I scratch the design into the pottery before firing.

car filled with redware sgraffito bisque pottery
bisque fired pots-almost finished, just need glaze

Here’s what sgraffito pots look like after the first fire. I love the contrast between the red and white clays.

a screen for screenprinting
Screen for screenprinting-burned by the sun

As a printmaker, I have been curious about printing on pots. With the encouragement of a fellow artist/potter, I tried to print decals to apply to clay. After MUCH experimenting, I learned that relief printing does not give a thick enough layer of glaze, so I am taking my woodcuts and linocuts, and using them to make screens for screen printing

screenprinting in the studio
testing the design

My only experience with photo transfer screen printing was a few years ago, when I took a workshop in Oaxaca, MX with artist, Marcos Lucero. In the workshop, we used the sun to expose the screen. It’s still taking some trial and error, but I am learning how to get a good exposure. Kentucky sun is different from Mexico sun–we have clouds!!

test print of birds in branches
test print-a little bit overexposed

Once I master the screen print part of the process (i love learning new things) It’ll be time for a NEW thing to learn: how to print using glaze, and then transfer the designs to clay.

work in progress painted clay sculptures
Painted clay critters-work in progress

Of course , it’s also possible to PAINT on clay–as long as it isn’t being used for food. These critters are almost finished. I LOVE painting on clay. It reminds me of canvas painting, but the textures and shapes of clay give it a 3rd dimension

glazing pottery
pots being glazed for the final firing

remember those sgraffito pots at the beginning of this post? Last night, i glazed them, and they are in the kiln cooling. We are going to open the kiln this evening, so stay tuned it’ll be exciting to see my first batch of pots…of course, the first batch is usually when I learn a lot of lessons, so hopefully the kiln gods are not too cruel.