Friday, December 23, 2011

Strung Together

Tile piece after firing. The Dynasty Red and Peacock Green really stand out against the dull watercolor underglazes. I really like how the watercolors look in the back round as well.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Clay tiles finished piece.It all flows together and looks very nice with all the different movement through the piece and the brown makes your eyes move along the tiles. It was fun to do, but hard to come up with the flow of it.  The way the colors contrast one another doesn't make you look at one point.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011


So far, in my tile piece, I've used mostly watercolor underglazes with a few over glazes, and clear glaze over the skin in the foot. I plan to add more glazes after it's fired, and fire it again.


A football glazed and cut into 4 pieces.-Tyler


This is my dragon with un-fired glaze. Note that it will not be pink :P   ,  it will be almost firetruck red. I'm quite excited! -Micah

Strung Together

Before glaze firing:

For the glazing I used mostly underglaze watercolors for the back round, and then I used the Dynasty red and Peacock green glazes for each trail of "seaweed." I used these glazes because they were rich colors and the green showed details. I also liked the idea of having the colors relate to the shapes. I used watercolors in the back because they give it life. They are nice deep colors and it's not flat color, it moves and is eye-catching.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Arthur Gonzalez

A ceramic sculptor, who works like a painter? That's the unique twist that Gonzalez puts into his work. He chooses to "break the rules" of traditional sculpture and ceramics methods, by adding materials and textures to his constructions. The resulting pieces often include a figure as a way for the audience to "connect" to the messages in the piece.

"But if one looks at the pieces that I make, you will often see the figure in pre-occupation. The figure just isn’t posing, just being beautiful or ugly. It is involved in a certain task, or it may be holding something important in a way that reminds us of other things held in that manor.  The expression on the face is paramount to the point being made. Without these aspects to the figure, the sculpture will very seldom leave my studio."- from Ceramics Monthly interview

See more of the interview with the artist here @

and more images here @

Georges Jeanclos

Jeanclos is a highly regarded French sculptor. His work is delicate, using a grey clay body WITHOUT glazes- instead he relies on the surface of the sculptures to convey the message.

His work is influenced by his growing up in Europe during world war 2.... his family hid in the woods for a year, living like "savages",  in constant fear of being  discovered by the Nazis.

See more of his work here @

and here @

Monday, December 12, 2011


Let's  coat some test tiles with glazes, so we can practice applying glazes and see the fired result before glazing our own tiles.

Tools for the job- clean, soft brushes of different sizes.

Here's the process:

1. Wipe down the tile with a clean damp sponge to remove dust and dirt.

2. Use the green wax solution to paint the bottom edges. Dab it on to coat thouroghly. This wax prevents the glaze from reaching the bottom edge of the tile. It burns off in the kiln, leaving a neat edge to your glaze.

3. Use an ENGOBE to write the name of the glaze on the bottom of the test tile. Engobes are a stained clay mixture and are considered an UNDERGLAZE. It is normally used on GREENWARE, or leather hard clay BEFORE the first firing.

STIR the engobe before and while you are painting with it. You can dab it on with a small, soft paintbrush.

Things to know about glazes:

• GLAZES need a lot of STIRRING before and during use. They should be a thick smooth consistency.

• GLAZES Do not look the same before firing as they do after firing!!! You must rely on a chart or test tile.

• GLAZES melt and "slip" a bit during the firing, so they may move outside the "lines". That's part of the process..... go with it.

• GLAZE fires at cone 5 (2130ยบ+), a much higher temperature than the "bisque" firing.  That high heat transforms (melts) the silica in the glaze to glass. Colorants like iron oxide, or copper carbonate create color in the glaze. You can buy premixed glazes, or even mix your own "recipe" of materials.

1. Stir stir and stir some more until the glaze is smooth and even....

A just-opened jar of glaze. It's thick and chunky!

Stirring with a brush handle 'till your wrist aches!

Completed stirring- see how it coated the end of the brush?- it's very opaque.

2.  Start applying the glaze. Use a soft brush and DAB on the glaze to coat evenly. Two, even coats are recommended. The glaze should be about a "fingernail" thickness.

DO NOT glaze the bottom of your tile, as it will fuse your work onto the kin shelf..

3. Check that you have coated the surface well, push the glaze into cracks and holes too. Any exposed spots of raw clay will stand out as bad craftsmanship.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Helpful Video About Our Underglazes

The "watercolor" style underglazes we will use for the ceramic tiles are wonderful tools for building up color and making the surfaces "pop"!

Here is the link....