Sunday, March 14, 2010

Porcelain Shellac Resist

Getting into the studio late and working late can have it's advantages.  I have really been able to focus more the last couple of days on my sculptures.  Yesterday I had about three projects going at once.  I started by brushing some black porcelain slip onto my newest sculptures.  While that was setting up I would bop over to the porcelain pieces that I was painting a shellac resist on.

When my arm would get tired of wiping back the porcelain I would go work on glazing some work to go into the kiln.  Talk about circuit training!  I rotated around these three projects for seven hours.  I did make sure to take a dinner break and treated myself to a little meal at Upper Crust Bakery.  Yum.

I've learned a few interesting things by exploring this shellac resist technique.  One, I'm not too fond of the smell of shellac.  Two, It is possible to use clear acrylic gel medium instead which has no odor and cleans up with water.  Three, letting the shellac dry overnight produces crisper lines.  Four, I'm too impatient to wait and usually start washing away the porcelain starting with the first area I've painted which is the driest.  My lines are not the crispest and I'm not sure if shellac is better than gel medium.  It probably dries harder than the gel medium so if you really need super crisp lines and are willing to wait for it to dry it would probably be the first choice.  Unfortunately, when I bought my shellac I couldn't find a tiny can.  So now I have a whole pint which might be a lifetime supply for me.

This piece is going to be in my show.  I'm trying to decide if I should stop here and keep it simple or if I should go back into it with a second layer of resist patterns.  It really adds depth and interest to add another layer under this first one.  I am just not sure if I can commit the time to going over it again.  Hmm, maybe I will do at least one with another layer.  Hmm...    Well, I've got to go open that kiln I fired off last night and make sure some things are not getting over dry without me.  Then later tonight I think I am going to set up my light tent in the studio and shoot some images of my work.  I can't stay up too late though, I've got to head out of town in the morning.  I am going to stop at the clay supply and pick up some new stuff to try out.  Yeah!

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