Category Archives: Pocelain

How to make a handmade panoramic landscape tile

I collected all my panoramic pictures from the city of Saint Petersburg for a couple years. I love the architectural landscape,  especially the view from the pier.

 

I made my own sketch  of the city.

I divided the sketch of the city into four sections. With the slab roller I created the tiles.  I left it to dry for a day. I put a board on top of each. I transferred the design to the tiles. I found the best stage to carve porcelain is leather hard. You have to work very fast to avoid cracks. I keep the four tiles together when I carve the city, continuing  the buildings over the borders. Using the same surface thickness boards helps. Remember to cover the parts that you don’t work on with plastic.

  

How to prevent cracks

How to prevent cracks

Planning: Porcelain dries faster than other materials than I have used before like raku or phoenix and if you go thinner you need to be even more careful. I agree that you have to play with the material to know its  proprieties first then  you have to realize that everything is possible if you make a plan.  Sometimes we concentrate on what we want to do, but we don’t have a plan on how we can do it. Is the piece going to involve carving? Does the piece need structure? What support material do you have to make, if  the structure that you are going to use is like foam, does it let the clay dry is at the same time?

Work surface: If you choose drywall to use for your work surface, remember to put duct tape on all borders. The drywall has plaster inside like you see below  in the picture , if these particles  mix with  the clay, they can be the cause of a blow up.

draywall-1

I made this frame for a mirror using porcelain a couple of years ago, it was my first piece using P10. In my head I had a vision of my piece, but I didn’t plan so well how I was going to make it.

espejo-completo

espejo-conplatic

Because I had the studio far away I had to transport the piece.  I used a thick piece of wood for a work surface and I used a thick black plastic, in the center I used cardboard to cover the space for  the mirror. I learned that using wood without plastic is not good because the wood absorbs humidity from the clay.  Thick plastic is no good  either because it doesn’t dry at the same rate as the top, the clay is much better to dry at the same rate; top and bottom to prevent cracking.  Delicate pieces are much better to make  on top of the kiln shell, that way you don’t have to  lift it.
Time: I found out it is very import to estimate the time it takes you to make the piece not only because you would like to track the time also to choose the type of plastic to cover the piece.

espejo-puntas

 

espejo-completo2

I carved all the corner figures without  covering the frame with plastic. All the borders started to crack and warp. I solved this by covering with wet paper towel for one day.

pressseal-1

I found out if I don’t have too much time in the same week to work on the piece you can cover it  with wet paper towels, (the best is Scott 55 , you can find it at Home Depot) then you can use plastic Press’n Seal from the kitchen, because it is sticky so you can seal all the corners.

Using the right tool:When you use the slab roller: be careful with all borders, all the cracks will try to continue, pressing all borders helps. To prevent bubbles you can use the pinch tool to open any bump.

presorborders-1

Knives: Remember, a line made with the knife in porcelain will try to continue creating a crack. Rounding all the angles helps, you can use a wet makeup sponge rubbing very gently or use a very thin brush. Turning the knife before crossing the intersection of two lines helps to prevent cracks, the same movement that you use to turn the pencil when sketching or drawing.
Sharp tools: It is very efficient when your tools are sharp especially if you like to carve. Unfortunately you can leave a mark that creates cracks when you use a dull tool.

espejoexplicacion-corner2

 

 

Cracks

crack-1

There are a lot of reasons why a piece cracks, I think I have experienced every single situation. Some cracks can be prevented before you make a piece, other are invisible in the bisque fire but can be visible after the second fire or can be visible months after you fire because the fit of the glaze.
How to prevent cracks
Best Stage of clay to fix a crack
What do you use to fix a crack

 

Why Porcelain?

Why Porcelain?

Sometimes you don’t choose the material the material chose you.
Why porcelain? The first thing that attracted me to it was the
translucent quality then the carving. I was very impressed with
the last one “carving”, I believe porcelain is the best for that,
especially Helios. I tried experimenting with different Technics
like stamping, carving and printing. I tried some forms too,
from figurative sculpture to a containers. For almost a year
and a half, I tried to take notes on my pieces and I will share
what I’ve learned so far.

 

Characteristic
My Observation
White
It is like a white canvas, Colors can be pure and bright. Sometimes it doesn’t need any colors at all, beautiful results with only sanding.
Low porosity, watertight
Low permeability and elasticity
Difficult to work with, It is a challenge to make a piece without grog; work with least amount of water it may help a little.
Translucent to some degree, thinner
 Tough material
The best material for carving
The finished line is clean and magnificent. Translucent colors like celadon can highlight the carving.
Smooth
Elegant, softness