When I began tape casting this summer I pictured my final products to have a uniformly pristine surface void of color or pattern. As time went on and I finally saw a finished product I realized that keeping the surface of every tile in the necklace completely white would be a missed opportunity. My intentions now are to dive into a week-long rapid fire round of surface tests centering around five main techniques:
1. Glaze: Gloss vs. Matte [finding a stable clear glaze with a good fit to contrast the bare clay pieces]
2. Glaze: Tape Casting the glaze recipe above
3. Glaze: Once Firing Glaze [connecting to points #1 & #2 – once-firing is important because I do not bisque the tape cast clay]
4. Color: Achieving a soft shade of grey [by coloring the slip, glaze or underglaze with grey mason stains or oxides such as manganese or nickel]
5. Pattern: Laser etching
Possible Uses for These Five Techniques
-Etching over underglaze to expose clay underneath/Underglaze or colored slip inlay
-Layering white slip over grey slip or vice versa and etching into the top layer to expose the color underneath
-Laser cutting and laminating sheets of colored slip to show different patterns/colors within each individual tile
-Using solid colored tiles to highlight pattern within the larger pattern of the overall piece
-Tape casting sheets of glaze and laser cutting them to fit each ceramic piece perfectly and firing them together
-Laser cutting patterns from tape casted sheets of glaze and overlaying them onto the tiles like a vinyl decal, firing them to the surface to achieve pattern with gloss against matte
This afternoon I began my process:
My main goal was to see the fired color of the three grey mason stains we keep here in the studio. I mixed the stains into small batches of slip and small batches of underglaze. In the slip I added 10% mason stain to get the truest color. In the past I have worked with black mason stain in low percentages in an effort to get a soft shade of grey but the results were blue, due to the high level of cobalt present in black & grey stains. I found an underglaze recipe online, and felt it was a little more complicated than it needed to be so for my small batches I mixed 5g. EPK, 5g. Frit 3124 and 5g. mason stain with enough water to make a mixture the consistency of heavy cream. Unfortunately when water gets added to the surface of the tape caste tiles they bow and warp so depending on how this firing goes I may try to tape casting the underglaze recipe to eliminate the issue of moisture.
aka Daniel Aktas
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