Learn Techniques

#1 .  THE DAYLIGHT TECHNIQUE/

HIDDEN DESIGNS WITHIN SLIP CAST PORCELAIN

Step 1:

You will need a very translucent porcelain slip body, and one that is also stable enough to fire without warping too much.

My Porcelain Clay body is as follows:

Alberto Veronica’s Daylight Slip. Cone 8-10

Grolleg             40
MinnSpar        35
Custer                5
Silica                 25

                        100%  or  grams or pounds

Water              40% – 50%/g/lbs = 40g – 50g/ 100g

Deflocculant:

Darvan #7 or Sodium Silicate     .25%/g/lbs= .25g/100g, a couple drops

I suggest to multiply all the numbers by 10, in order to be able to weigh out any of the materials accurately. If making a large batch, please know that one must add wet to dry, and add only half of the required deflocculant, slowly add the rest whenever your slip is thickening, if it doesn’t thicken, do not add deflocculant. Let sit for 2 weeks.

Add:

For Red : 20% Mason Stain 6088 Dark Red

For Orange: 15% Mason Stain 6030 Mango

For Yellow: 15% Mason Stain 6074 Sunshine

For Black: 5% Mason Stain 6600 Best Black

For Blue: 5% Mason Stain 6308 Delphinium Blue

 

 

The Slip-Casting Technique:

 

You will need a lot of things to get started, but it is very rewarding whenever you achieve results:

Materials:

Translucent White Porcelain Slip, Black Porcelain Slip, Blue Slip, Red Slip, Yellow Slip, and Orange Slip.

Tools:

X-acto knife, Click utility knife/Fettling Knife, Paint Brush set about 7 brushes, 2 sauce/ketchup bottle, Spray bottle, Sponges for smoothing and cleaning, pour bottle, Containers for all slips, a water bucket for washing hands and technique, Corn Starch, and rubbing alcohol.

Most Importantly: A plaster mold one can easily paint in and a slab of plaster to cast objects on and marble slip.

Tools needed

 

Marble Slip!!

Pour an 8 inch pancake of white translucent slip and using a squeeze bottle full of black slip pour randomly upon the surface of the white slip, think of making swirls continuously, its fun. Then using a brush move through the surface to distorts and marble your lines. For fun, one can place small amounts of alcohol and dilate lines into circles, with cornstarch one can create a crust of slip and make jagged marbled lines.

Marble slip

Cut your slip out!

Using a template made of foam, wood, paper, and anything you can think of cut a shape out of your slip!! and place on top of a board with a plastic bag on top of it. Using a spray bottle give your shapes a coat of water, this will turn them into wet noodles or slight stiff noodles. Learn to pick them up gently without breaking them.

Cut shapes out

If you learn to pick them up and control the amount of floppiness by controlling the amount of water you put on them.

BirdDipping1

Gently dip the birds before you place them…… in the mold. Once you place them in the mold you have about 3 – 5 minutes before they start detaching from the side of your mold. If that happens use your spray bottle to spritz the bird that is coming off and push is back against the wall.

Pro tip: This technique can be used for any object of the same clay body that is cast, press molded, or hand built. One only needs to dip and attach to mold, the time the object stays attached is dictated by the weight. Its how you can cast a hole in an object.

Bird dipping and attaching to wall

Immediately after placing all the birds and maybe removing any excess water, pour into your mold and cast for 25 – 30 seconds, then pour out all the slip into a container hold upside down for about 20 seconds and let some of the slip pour back in, if you have large drips make sure to smooth them out with a small damp sponge.

Paint the colors/ Hide some designs!!

Using many of your brushes lightly paint from Darkest to lightest inside the mold. If you paint too thick your cup will not be translucent in that area. You only have about 4 minutes before the cup starts to dry out too much and you run into a problem called blistering, or bubbles whenever the piece is fired. After painting your yellow slip and watching its surface be dry to touch. Immediately, one can get some of your cut out shapes, dip it in water to make it floppy and place them inside the thickness of the layer of the cast object. Then once everything is sealed, stuck, and nothing is wet inside your mold casted object, pour your next layer.

Painting colors

Cast the core or main thickness of cup!!

After filling up the mold to the very top wait 3 to 5 minutes so that you have a 4mm layer of slip accumulate. Once your time is up pour out your slip and hold upside down for 10 to 15 seconds before turning back on bottom of mold, what your are looking for is small threads of dripping. The extra slip is going to go to the bottom of your mold and cast a smooth inside if your are making a bowl or cup.

 

Paint the colors again!!

Paint the inside of your cast object, this time go from lightest to darkest, you will have 5 minutes to do this. Your object will detach from the mold if it get too dry so please be sure to paint your mold with a lot of freedom, expression, and determination. Immediately after painting, pour your last layer.

 

Pour your last layer!!!

Your last layer is optional if you are making a sculptural object, if you are making a piece of utilitarian pottery, I would suggest you do it if you want to surprise your user.

Casted cup

Remove your mold whenever your mold allows you to do it, it normally takes about 30 – 45 minutes of drying. Here is a picture of one of my cups before I have added a handle, attached a foot using a poured slab of slip, and trimming anything that I find not considered enough.

 

Fire your pieces in Cone 10 Reduction!!!

It is only translucent in that atmosphere and temperature, to be very specific, I fire to Cone 10 at 2’o Clock. When the pieces come out of the kiln they are very beautiful in the morning light as the sun shines through your window. The name of the technique comes from this fact.

 

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