Colour in Slips technically

Starting with Slip technical, exploring colours in slips with Morgan alongside Field module.


20170314_142134(0)-COLLAGE

I started with a search across library books and the internet for base, white slip recipes of which we mixed 7.

We applied them on terracotta and White Saint Thomas tiles in 3 various layers fired to EW and SW temperatures, half glazed. Also fired on its own.
The blobs of slip were created by piping about 20ml of the individual slips onto plaster bat and gently smearing them. However, they proved extremely fragile after drying, some of them quickly cracking in the process of drying. Anyway, the colour was the same as 3 coats on the tiles; on the other hand, we wanted the blobs of slips for more interesting and easier presentation of our outcomes, giving us possibility to use them to create an installation piece.

IMG_7376

The experiment allowed us to see that the simple recipe used in our glaze room: 50/50 of Ball and China clay has the best result in producing white slip in EW temperature, meanwhile using Porcelain powder slip is whitest for SW temperature.

IMG_7383Morgan’s temperature test showed us the colour changes in number of oxides and staines in EW and SW temperature.
Using the chosen 50/50 slip he stained it with Red, Yellow, Purple and Synthetic Iron Oxides, as well as Coral stain and Chrome Oxide.
Half glazed, they reveal a dramatic change in colour.
This test made us stick with EW temperatures, with added bonus of reducing cost and environmental impacts, but being aware of increased fragility of EW products.

IMG_7380
To further see the colour response of each slip recipe, we added 10% of Yellow stain to each recipe, bisque fired and half glazed at EW temperature, on terracotta tiles.
Most of them look the same, except 1 weird recipe that melts on SW.

These experiments gave us really just the starting point, establishing processes and testing techniques, as well as backing up choice for base slip and temperature.
Rigorous testing of combinations of stains and oxides.

We want to be able to produce a specific colour pallet in specific shades, similar to Jin Eui Kim’s carefully mixed tonal range of his engobes, to create an illusion of curves and voids. ltvs-jineuikim-5.jpg

Ceramic residency at La Pedrix, France

Undergoing immersive week extending my skills in sculpting, hand building, collaborating, performing and story telling.


Learning how to reclaim dry blocks of clay with no plaster, and in limited time was quite challenging. Arising to smashing the clay into almost powder with heavy tools, and after saturating it with limited amounts of water, building arches to let the sloppy clay dry.
However, accustoming myself with this new, locally dug clay was easier. I really enjoyed its unique colour as well as the groggy and rather sticky texture, even though it did not record the texture of my hand, which I normally try to keep.

Set with the task of creating a kiln based on a country and its stories/folklore, I started drafting ideas and searching for stories in Slovak/Slavic mythologies. I came up with some designs based on ‘Morena’ – goddess of Winter whose effigy is burned and thrown into a stream to welcome the Spring. However, its basic story didn’t really interest me, with obvious but messy symbolisms such as female fertility, rebirth, coldness, evil and beauty, burning witches, etc.

I was wondering, that there must be a folk story for every fairy common creature and natural phenomena, over the many years and geographies of human existence.
My first search trial was snails, as I like them and could relate to their slow and quiet exploration of the world.
Within Christian traditions they are perceived as evil, symbols of the deadly sin of sloth, laziness and apathy.
However, in Aztec stories snail is representing the moon, its shell the cycles of moon and is considered humble and respectful. Moreover, it has very interesting and different back story to the moon’s creation. I was instantly captured, and felt I could retell the story to others, with the kiln supporting the theatrical presentation perfectly.

 

I sketched multiple designs of snail like object with circular features representing the moon. At the end I stayed with fairy simple in detail but still challenging enough shape for me.

I felt I could really develop my aesthetics in hand building and sculpting, experimenting with this semi abstract form with emphasis on empty space and more organic, uneven surface. The red slip allowed me to separate the circle – moon and shell from the base, whilst white slip brushes added a bit more movement and clay dots another voids.

 

 

As a side project we had to construct a stackable camping set, but missing a collaborative element in the residency, I teamed up with Morgan. To allow us to focus on our kilns and produce something good in such a short time, we stripped down the stackable element to the basic and pumped up the fun element. Our fun ‘Camp’-ing Picknic Set included one big serving/salad bowl with decoration imitating weaved basket, and limp wristed hands as handles. Inside the bowl could fit: 2 smaller and 2 bigger plates with penis pattern decoration and illustrations of me and Morgan; 2 high heel leg wine glasses; double bum bowl, and 2 sets of cutlery in shape of hands, penises and lips with lipstick.

 

 

Exploring France through the few trip we had was a rich experience.
With very camp and opulent, gilded Italian tea set from a car boot sale, giving us more inspirations for the Camp Camping Set and its decoration that awaited.
The cliff-side town with a whole church cut into the rockside, and small well shrines in a potter’s studio was a captivating example of slow growth and transformation: through inorganic – chiseling out the pillars, walls and features of the church, or waters eroding voids and channels into the rock; to organic – moss and mold growing on the faces of rock walls from the trickling of water and moisture present, and various plants finding any sunny surfaces to plant their roots.
It was fun to find many snails, some in crazy, almost surreal forms, in various art and souvenir shops.

 

 

 

Sculpting

I wanted to extend my interest and experience in sculpture by sneaking into 2 workshops by incredible Claire Curneen, looking into figurative clay forms.


20161025_160056

In her workshop into building heads, she could talk so beautifully about the expressive and representational forms we were asked to crate. Lose ourselves and stop thinking about realism.
She also directed us to acknowledge the natural properties of the clay and how we can use it for our advantage, not needing to faff and smooth and play with the surface unnecessarily.

20161025_163459

With slip we could add another layer and narrative into the figure, with simple sgraffito and layering colours. Thinking about simple feeling, narrative, and trying to translate it onto the figure.

I created this almost tree trunk looking face, thinking about my autumnal bicycle ride back home from university, through a wast park with an allay of trees.

20161201_111643

Another demonstration I managed to catch was her never work of tree like/figure like forms.
It is always so fascinating to observe her ways of handling clay, and her ideas translated through it into the sculptures.

I want to explore and extend my main Subject and Field through sculpture in some ways, to inform even my functional practice, and exploration of the public space.

Technical Exploration

Technical exploration within my Subject project and Technical Research project;
exploring slips, layering, and simple EW melt test and glazes.


Slip

Looking at my object from the Ken Stradling Collection, I wanted to try and recreate the 20161024_100056plywood that created the curves and form of the Penguin Donkey in clay.
Using slips seemed like the easiest option to start with, applying it onto a plaster bat with a brush, layer upon layer of blue and white as well as black and white, drying them slightly with a heat gun to prevent the colours mixing.
The problem arise when taking the ply-clay slabs from the bat. I tried to use thin metal kidney, but the slip continued to tear and distort even when drier.

Screen Shot 2016-12-06 at 00.35.59.pngI assume the difficulty of removing slabs from plaster are due to the thinnes of the pieces. Anyway, I wanted the overall thickness, as well as the thickness of individual layers to be much thicker, closer to the thickness of real plywood.

I mixed a bigger quantities of slip to experiment with, with different colours to try various colour combinations.
I chose a specific colour palette based on the most widespread Penguin Books colour – Orange, and its split complementary colours to work nicely together, layered upon each other.
In Penguin Books’ categorising, Orange is representing fiction, whereas Blue is for bibliographies and Purple for essays.
Further colours close to the 3 split complementary that I will consider to use is Yellow (miscellaneous), Cerise (travel and adventure) and Pink (drama).

I made multiple thin guides in the wood workshop to guide me at making the individual layers uniformed. IMG_1510
The scraping problem didn’t reoccur again, and the thickness and uniformity was ideal.
However, I did use quite a lot of slip; but more importantly, I wasn’t able to bend the slabs easily at all.
I was only able to create a small curved pieces, with quite a lot of cracks.

I think for next trial I’ll have to investigate adding a paper pulp to the slip to make it more 20161027_161418flexible when forming, as well as create a plaster moulds to bend the slabs over into desirable form.

20161114_115047

20161122_153049 I also tried to paint the slip over a pieces of paper to help remove the slip slabs from plaster and make the forming easier. I attempted to recreate and enlarge some of previous tests, but it didn’t work that well, having difficulty to join the sides and hold the shape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Glazes

A series of 10 melt test of simple combination at EW temperature (1050-1070C).
I started with China Clay and Flint with additions of Borax, High Alkali or Calcium Frit, or Potash Feldspar, Wollastonite or Strontium Carbonate, with additions of orange stain or Rutile for colour.

I played with their values on http://www.glazesimulator.com/ to predict how they could behave.

Few of them didn’t fuse, but most of them turned into a glaze with different matt, porridge like or shiny transparent effects.

Alison Britton

Alison is one of the leading ceramic artists of her generation, and part of a radical group of RCA graduates in the early 1970s.
She took function and ornamentation as her subject to explore, focusing on the containing qualities – “both its formal possibilities and its capacity to hold and communicate thoughts and ideas. “

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 23.22.06
Outflow, 2012, Alison Britton Photographer: Philip Sayer

In her newer work (2012) she gives emphasis on the colour and the fluidity of slip application.
I’m interested to extend my knowledge of slips, as great colourant of surfaces, but now as a 2D form shaper through it’s fluid application.

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 23.22.34
Standing and Running: Watershed, Alison Britton 2012 Photographer: Philip Sayer

As Alison I’m also interested in the exploration of ‘containment’ through the language of ceramic vessels.
However I want to focus more on the absent feeling of these qualities, related to human experience and our aspiration for permanent security and stability, or rather the normality of the constant search.

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 23.23.11
Doubletake, 2011, Alison Britton Photographer: Philip Sayer

Continue reading Alison Britton

Tea for Two – Progress/Process

Progress of the 4 weeks, working on the Tea for Two project, illustrated through photographs.


 

Stitching number of pieces of fabric to create moulds for the parts of tea set.
Tea for 2
Filling the fabric moulds with plaster to create number of plaster prototypes.
These then can be used to create plaster moulds for casting with slip.Tea for 2

 

 

 

More plaster shapes and components.Tea for 2

 

 

 

 

 

Plaster saucers.

Tea for 2

 

Used fabric moulds dipped in black slip and fired.
This method is actually much faster and simpler than making plaster moulds, with better, undisturbed detail. More experimental shapes are possible, just less functional.
Tea for 2

 

Slip-casted and fired cups.Tea for 2

 

Fired slipware, some of them glazed, with oxide wash and transparent glaze, or other.
Tea for 2 Tea for 2