Monday, April 28, 2014

Using Paper Stencils to Create Pattern and Texture

I am currently taking an instructional development class in preparation for teaching next semester. One of our assignments was to create a ten minute micro lesson. Here is the handout that I created to accompany the lesson.

Paper Stencils Micro Lesson
Instructor: Kelly Daniels
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Fall 2014
Using Paper Stencils to Create Pattern and Texture on Clay
        1. Identify papers to be used for stencils.
        2. Learn basic methods for creating stencils.
        3. Determine when and how to apply stencils to clay.
        4. Discover what materials to apply over the stencils.

1.5” Wide Hake Brush
Unprinted Newsprint Paper
Slips, underglazes, engobes.
X-acto type knife
Pin tool

1. Determine paper to be used.  For this demonstration I will be using unprinted newsprint.
2.  Draw a shape on your stencil. This can be symmetrical or asymmetrical.  For multiples, fold the paper and draw shape starting at the fold line “paper-doll style.”
3. Using scissors or a blade, cut out the stencil.  Either, or both, positive or negative images may be used as the stencil.IMG_1170.JPG
4. a)Dipping method: Gently dip stencil in water and carefully place on leather hard clay surface.
   b) Spray bottle method: Using a fine mist spray bottle, first spray the surface of the clay where you will place the stencil. Next carefully lay the stencil down on the clay and spray again to wet the stencil.
5.Gently smooth out wrinkles. Use a wet finger, brush, or spritz from a spray bottle to lift, smooth, or readjust the stencil.
6. Allow the stencil to begin to dry until it is just damp and lighter in color.  You will see the paper change colors as it begins to dry out. (See example of color change in above images.) You don’t want the paper or clay to completely dry out.
7. Using a soft bristle brush apply slip or underglaze to your piece.  Use one to three coats depending on the density of color or amount of texture you desire. When applying multiple coats allow the previous coat to dry to leather hard before applying the next coat.
Note: airbrushing can also be used to apply slip or underglaze and allows for nice gradations of color.  However, this will not be demonstrated.
8. After applying slip your piece may have soaked up a noticeable amount of moisture so be careful not to move or cause the piece to warp.
9. Allow your piece to dry to leatherhard again.
10. At this point you can start applying more stencils if you wish to achieved layered effect.
11. When all stencils and slips have been applied and your piece has dried to leather hard you can start to remove stencils.  Usually the areas where the stencils are will have dried faster allowing for easier visibility.  To make the stencils even easier to see a hair dryer may be used briefly to dry the stencils more.  Use a sharp blade, like an x-acto knife, or needle tool, to gently lift of the edge of the stencil, then grab ahold of it and peel it off. Throw away the stencils, they cannot be used again.
12. Many interesting effects can be achieved by using multiple stencils to create patterns and employ shallow relief and overlapping images.

IMG_2575.JPGSoda Ewers Web.jpg

Stencil - a thin sheet of cardboard, plastic, or metal with a pattern or letters cut out of it, used to produce the cut design on the surface below by the application of ink or paint through the holes.
Leather hard - clay which has reached a stage of dryness that is the consistency of leather or hard cheese.
Slip - liquid clay: can be made from the clay body you are using or formulated from a recipe and can also be colored using oxides or stains.
Underglaze – a commercially prepared product similar to slip but with a lower clay content.  Comes in many colors.
Additional Resources:
Enter paper stencil in the search bar and quite a few resources will come up.
Zygote Blum on You Tube
Meredith Host on You Tube
Due Date (Hypothetical):
        October 1st Greenware
        October 14th  Glazed and fired

Monday, November 11, 2013

Grad School Adventures

Excuse the absence, I'm in grad school dontcha know? For the most part I have been posting updates to my Facebook page. I am not entirely certain why I haven't wanted to blog, except for the fact that I have been utterly and extremely busy.  The past four months have seen tons of changes, successes, failures, stress and excitement.  So, if you want to challenge yourself, move cross country and go to grad school!

College of Visual and Performing Arts, New Bedford Campus, Star Store. I'm up on the fourth floor in a huge studio space.

My space when I first moved into it in September.  I actually had a month in New Bedford without a car and no studio access.  I got a little depressed.  I rode the bus around, got a library pass, walked a lot and had a scare with bedbugs.  

The view out my studio window.

New Bedford is kind of an odd little town.  It's history is the fishing industry and mills and there tends to be a lot of poverty here.  There are pockets of wealth and pretty houses but to get to some really gorgeous scenery one needs to drive about five minutes out of town.  This is the harbor filled with fishing boats.  The area is known for it's historical ties to whaling and Herman Melville's Moby Dick.

Fall is truly setting in and one of my favorite places is this little park about fifteen minutes out of town on this little salt marsh pond.

One of the first things the grad students did after school started was take a trip to New York City to see some incredible exhibits at the museums.

So, I actually have been making work!  This is the result of my first soda firing and also what I set up for my first crits and reviews.  I was pretty pleased with how this came out in spite of the fact that I had a cold and was sick from an abscessed tooth.  I kept trying to figure out why I was so bleary eyed and delirious.  It was the hardest and felt like the longest firing I have every done!

Now I am busily trying to catch up and getting work made for finals.  Oh yeah, and there is that paper and presentation I have been seriously procrastinating.  See ya' later, I've got a kiln to check on!

Friday, July 19, 2013

New Adventures Await Part One

I am sitting in the Atlanta airport waiting for a connecting flight that is one leg of the journey that begins a new chapter in my life. To say that my emotions are a mix of excitement and trepidation is putting it mildly.  I have been quite busy since finishing out the semester back at the end of May. 

Two days after the semester ended i jetted out North Carolina to be a studio assistant in back to back workshops. This a pic of me stoking the new wood kiln at Penland School of Crafts. After five weeks at Penland I headed home to spend the next three weeks packing up and moving out of my apartment in preparation for a cross country move.

This was the last view of my little apartment as I mopped myself out the back door.
I spent most of that time trying to get rid of all my stuff when it finally sunk in to my head that none of the stuff I had was worth the cost of paying to move it. I sold, thrifted, gifted, and threw away stuff until I ran out of time. What was left got stuffed into my mother's house so that I would surely have something to do when I come back to visit.
To be continued...



Friday, May 10, 2013

Art Success!

Tonight finds me super, duper exhausted.  For the first time in many years I have taken my brand new soda fired pottery out to a small local art fair. By local, I mean four blocks away from my house which was great so could run home quickly for the things I forgot.  I think I went home three times.  The best part about today was seeing and hearing everyone's positive response to this new body of work.  I think that has been more valuable than the sales.  I was really crossing my fingers because I wasn't sure that very many people would be familiar with the look of soda fired pots or that they would appreciate the neutral, earthy peach and orange hues.  I think most people around here are more familiar with the cobalt blue and rutile combos.  Well, I was quite surprised at just how well received the work was.  Not a lot of sales yet but there are two more days to go.  Thanks everyone who came by the booth today!

So if you are near Chico, CA come on over and say hi and tell me what you think of my new work.
I'm going to go flop into bed now.  Have a wonderful weekend and stay cool and hydrated out there.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Gettin' it done.

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you have a deadline and a very specific to do list mapped out so there is no time for distraction.

I got tons of photos taken.  So many that I overheated my camera.

Many of these pieces will be in the show at the Matador this weekend.

I had a lot of fun making these little cups.

So much delicious contrast on these pitcher.  

We made it over hump day and were on the downward slide to the weekend.  Keep smiling.