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Experiments = experience,,,,,,,

January 19, 2017

Greetings!!

I had planned on writing this blog earlier in the week but I have been busy experimenting in the shop.  Experiments equal experience.

My first experiment came about when I was going through some things in the basement and came across a bag of glass milifiori chips.  You'll see pics below.  Anyhow, if you buy crystal glazes they have glass chips in them.  Usually a solid color and milifiori chips have a pattern to them.  I know the glass chips will melt when I fire the piece in the kiln but what I don't know is how far they will spread during the firing and how much of the design I will lose in the process, if any.  So I took a small bread plate and clear glazed it.  Then I placed the glass chips on the plate while the glaze was still somewhat wet.  I added a drop of clear glaze to the bottom of the chips to help hold them in place.

          

On the left is the clear glaze in a cup, the plate, the milifiori chips and a bowl of water with brush.  In the middle is a close up of the chips.  You can see the neat designs in them.  And finally the plate, drying before being ready for the kiln.

So, my next experiment I wanted to try is actually two fold.  First is called sgraffito, (the scratching in) in this case scratching into the underglaze to create a design.  Sgraffito has been around a lot longer than I have but for some reason I have never tried it before. The tools I am using are not really sgraffito tools but they are working well so I will not complain.  They are actually the same tools I use to etch my polymer clay stamps.  The second part to this is called zentangle.  Zentangle is a type of art work typically found in pen art or drawing but it is crossing over to other mediums.  So the first attempt at this is a mug that I started calling "my crazy purple zentangle mug", LOL.

          

On the left you will see I have 3 coats of purple underglaze, (the color will look different after firing) and I am just starting to work in a design.  The second picture shows more of the design being added.  And the final picture shows the full design etched in.  It does go completely around the mug.  Not shown is a shop of the mug looking green with two coats of clear glaze over the purple and sgraffito work.

Then I moved on to another plate.  This one also has sgraffito work done on it.  I found although it is time consuming, I really like doing sgraffito work.

          

On the left, penciled in the design and started a light etching.  In the middle the etching is compete.  And the one on the right shows me starting to apply the clear glaze.

I have also been busy trying to get a full load of glazed items ready to go in the kiln.  So, I have several items not pictured that will go int he kiln with these experiments.  I decided I had room for one more mug.  So my final piece is a mug underglaze in black and I am etching in snowflakes.  It is not quite finished yet and then will also need two coats of clear glaze.  I do think it will look pretty when it is done.

     

On the left I started marking in a rough guide as to where the snowflakes will go and on the right I am in the process of etching in the snowflakes.  The pattern goes completely around the mug.  It will also get 2 coats of clear glaze.  I was hoping to be firing the kiln by the end of this week but I still have a long way to go on the mug yet so it is looking like one day next week.  I'll share pics once it is completed.  I can't wait to see how things turn out, if they turn out!!

Until next time,,,,,,,

 

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