Modern Makers: Week 2


Blog post by Modern Makers participant, Bryony Rose

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Day 2: 

Today we pressed the slip decorated squares onto dish moulds. You create these dishes by sort of pulling off the excess clay from around the mould edges. The decorated edges from this method result in beautifully patterned scraps, which were sad to say good-bye to.

The dishes we pressed on mould on the last day were dry enough to add the first layer of decoration to. We cut out shapes out of newsprint which were dampened and placed on the dishes. We then poured white slip into the centre of the dish. The newsprint blocks out the slip and so leave the area the raw terracotta colour. We have to leave these dishes to dry out until the next day before anymore decoration can be added.

At the end of the day we made makers stamps out of little lumps of clay which we scratched our unique mark (in reverse) on them. These will be fired and used to stamp the bases of our work in the coming weeks.

Day 3:

The dishes which we blocked out shapes on were dry enough today to decorate further. I used thicker slip and sgraffito (a technique where you scratch the surface of the clay) to add some detail.  We also made some more press dishes and once dried out a little we pour black slip inside the dishes. On the next day we will cut out shapes to block out areas, then cover in white slip. I’m planning on using sgraffito on these dishes to expose the terracotta base colour.

                            Jodie peeling off the paper after pouring white slip inside her dish 

On one dish I experimented with wax resist to paint a plant design on the leather hard dish shaped clay. Once the wax dried I poured white slip over the top. The slip was too dense and the wax didn’t resist the slip. Doug poured a little water into the dish to try and dilute the slip and this allowed the water to repel the watery slip more easily and the design appeared.

     Me, Hannah and Jodie - drying out some dishes to make them more stable after the inside slip has been applied