How Art PLATTERS are Made.

This method is known as Slip Casting

1.  We locally purchase the Dry Body - also known as clay powder.
NB  After step 1, my mum and her husband continue with this lengthy process from steps 2-8. Stirling and I take over from step 9.
2.  The Dry Body is then mixed with water and bonding agents.
3.  This mixture is stirred, allowed to stand and then stirred again several times over the next 24-48 hours.

4. Once the slip is at the right consistency, it is poured at a steady rate into the desired mould.
NB Pouring too slowly will cause hesitation lines. pouring too fast will cause air bubbles.

5. After checking the slip has partially dried around the edges to the correct thickness, the excess slip is drained into a container so it may be reused.
6. After the clay body has been allowed to sit and dry enough to hold its own shape, the mould is unbanded and the top section is carefully removed. 
7. Further air drying is required until the clay body is able to support its own weight. Only then can the clay body be removed completely from the mould. The clay body is now called Leather Hard, and at this stage is placed on plaster board to allow complete drying.

8. This drying process usually takes 48-120 hours. In winter, this drying process can take upto 7-10 days!
NB If the clay body is removed from the mould too soon the piece will lose its shape and distort. if left too long the piece will crack while drying.
9. Completely dried and known as Green-Ware, the piece is carefully handled and lightly sanded to remove any seams. Then it is gently wiped over with a damp sponge to remove any dust.
10. Now the Green-Ware can finally be painted as desired, using specially formulated ceramic underglazes.
NB The greenware in very fragile and any knock, no matter how gentle, may send a shudder through the piece which may cause a hairline crack that may not show up until after the second firing.

11. Timeime spent on this creativity process is really endless,2-72 hours or more!To achieve an opaque finish, 3 coats of each colour must be applied.
NB Unlike shading and mixing colours in oils and acrylics where seeing the result is immediate, with underglazes, only after the second firing are the true colours visible.

12. When bone dry, carefully load the piece into the kiln. This first firing is known as a Bisque Firing.
Fire to 1101cel - approx. 12 hours.
Cool in kiln - approx. 12 hours.
NB Opening the kiln any sooner could result the ceramic item cracking!  Just to be really safe, we allow 24hours for this firing and cooling process

13. Out of the kiln - your piece is now referred to as Bisque Ware.
NB The colours are now a bit deeper and richer than when first applied to greenware.

14. Now 2-3 coats of clear glaze are applied.This glaze contains fine particles of glass and for application purposes only is tinted.

15. When bone dry, carefully load the piece into the kiln.This second firing is known as a Glaze Firing.
Fire to 1040cel - approx. 10 hours.
Cool in kiln - approx. 10 hours.

NB Opening the kiln any sooner could result the ceramic item cracking!Just to be really safe, we allow 24hours for this firing and cooling process

 16. The colours are more vibrant than ever! Only now can you see the results of mixing, shading and blending.
NB Most glazed ceramic items in time will naturally crackle, due to the porous nature of clay, as it expands and contracts with the weather and humidity.
Providing the platter has survived every step, it may be displayed and safely with food.

All enquiries welcomed ...

8390 3763