Big Ceramic Store Blog

Monthly Archives: May 2016

  • Well folks, here it is... the last group of pictures from our customer submissions. If you haven't been following along, check out groups 1-9 to see some AMAZING stuff, and for some great ideas!

    Thank you to all of our customers who submitted their work! If you'd like us to feature your work on our blog, send us an email at bcscommunity@bigceramicstore.com.

     

    Jeanette Igoe Jeanette Igoe

     

    Shubo Zhao Shubo Zhao

     

    Shevon Sullivan Shevon Sullivan

     

    Sally Pursell Sally Pursell

     

    Rebecca Adkins Rebecca Adkins

     

    Molly Molloy Molly Molloy

     

    Leslie Hagen Leslie Hagen

     

    Cas Street Ceramics Cas Street Ceramics

    By the way, did you see our post on 4/27/16 where we featured Lifelike Ceramic Handbags With BCS Customer JD Moore?  Or how about the one on 5/20/16 where we featured Lisa Harnish's version of Sgraffito in Terra Sigillata Part-1? If not, they are a must read!

    Remember, visit our blog for some great ideas, and send us your pictures!

  • If you're anything like me, I have a bunch of glass flower vases from my husband and kids showering me with love over the years, sitting on a shelf in the basement. I often look at them and they remind me of the beautiful flowers from a florist, from the grocery store, and my favorite... wild flowers picked from along side of a back country road!

    This morning, I was headed down to the basement for something, and noticed them once again. I've been thinking about a simple centerpiece for our picnic table on Memorial Day, and all of a sudden, these empty vases sparked an idea!

    Find yourself a flower vase, large mason jar, or tall tumbler, and follow me to the studio. We are going to make a simple, yet really neat centerpiece.

  • BCS customer Lisa Harnish shares her amazing techniques and recipes for "Sgraffito in Terra Sigillata-Part 2" in today's post! Visit Lisa's website for more!

    Lisa Harnish first began working with clay in January 2002. Her initial education in ceramics began at Chandler Gilbert Community College, and continues to this day. Lisa’s sgraffito designs take their inspiration from nature, such as grass, leaves, seaweed and vines that wind their way around and across the vessel. 

    Last week we went over making terra sigillata, coloring it, and application. Today we'll go a little more in depth on how to "sgraffito" your pots, and some of the tools Lisa uses.

    Grab your coffee and follow along with this awesome technique!

    • Cyndie | #

      Thanks for the great information! How do you create your colored terra sig? On the bottom photo, I only see white clay and not the wonderful colors your mugs show...please explain :)

      Cyndie

  • Group 9, wow... what a great response to our request for pictures of our customers work! Have you been following along? If not, you really should check it out. Our customers are some of the greatest ceramic artists out there!

    Here is another great viewing of some of that talent! We hope you enjoy it!

    Carolyn Reynolds Carolyn Reynolds

     

    Cynthia Ligeros Cynthia Ligeros

    Carl Crutchfield Carl Crutchfield

    Kathy Edwards Kathy Edwards

    Marcela Garcia Cano Marcela Garcia Cano

    Mary Allan Mary Allan

    Jackie Moore Maphis Jackie Moore Maphis

    Susan Taylor Glasgow Susan Taylor Glasgow

    Wayne Herrick Wayne Herrick

    Wyatt Schultz Wyatt Schultz

    By the way, did you see our post on 4/27/16 where we featured Lifelike Ceramic Handbags With BCS Customer JD Moore?  Or how about the one on 5/20/16 where we featured Lisa Harnish's version of Sgraffito in Terra Sigillata Part-1? If not, they are a must read!

    Don't forget... we will be featuring more of our customers' work, the products and techniques they used, and maybe even step-by-step instructions in future posts, so keep an eye out for them!

    Do you want to submit your work, or possibly write an article for our blog? Shoot us an email at bcscommunity@bigceramicstore.com.

  • BCS customer Lisa Harnish shares her amazing techniques and recipes for "Sgraffito in Terra Sigillata" in today's post! Visit Lisa's website for more!

    Lisa Harnish first began working with clay in January 2002. Her initial education in ceramics began at Chandler Gilbert Community College, and continues to this day. Lisa’s sgraffito designs take their inspiration from nature, such as grass, leaves, seaweed and vines that wind their way around and across the vessel. 

    What is Terra Sigillata -

    Terra Sigillata is Latin for “sealed earth”. Its usage dates back to ancient Roman times. It was developed as a method of sealing the surface of pottery forms, and for decoration (red and black slip). In today’s ceramics, Terra Sigillata is a generic term for a thin slip made by separating the tiniest, finest particles of clay from the larger particles. Often called “Terra Sig” or even just “Sig” for short, it can be made from almost any clay body.

    Lisa’s Terra Sigillata (adapted from Matt Metz)

    • 4,000 grams dry Grolleg clay
    • 2 gallons distilled water
    • 40 grams Calgon

    calgon

    • Mixing Instructions: Empty water into a clean, 5-gallon bucket. Measure Calgon, add to bucket,  mix to dissolve. Add Grolleg clay in 500 gram batches, mixing after each addition. Set mixture aside to settle for at least 2 days. Use a turkey baster to siphon off the middle layer in small batches as needed. Leave the water layer on top, to keep it from drying out prematurely. The sig should be the consistency of whole milk.

    Coloring Terra Sigillata

    Because I’m trying to keep contamination of the sig to a minimum, I prefer to use metallic oxides (or carbonates), rather than stains, the only exception to this is for the satin black, I use Mason Stain Black 6600.

    colorants
    Applying Terra Sigillata

    I've found it difficult to apply terra sigillata to wet or leather hard clay. It seems to not want to “stick”, let alone build up a solidly colored surface, however; bone dry greenware is very absorbent, and will accept the terra sig quite readily.

    Sanding the greenware with a coarse grit sand paper (60 grit or lower) raises a “tooth” to the surface, a faint texture that will act like a sponge to soak up the terra sig, ensuring a good fit. Neglecting this step has often resulted in sintering, where the sig layer tries to peel away from the clay surface during firing.

    • Sanding generates a lot of dust, which can be hazardous to breathe in. Wear a properly fitted respirator when sanding greenware, in a well ventilated area (i.e., outside).

    I use soft "fan" style brushes, or even inexpensive house paint brushes. I do make a point of keeping the brushes separated by the colorant used to prevent contamination. For instance, Red Iron Oxide is only used in Red Iron Oxide sig.

    Join us next week for Part 2 where we will go a little more in depth on using the Terra Sig,  burnishing, sgraffito, and glazing!

    If you'd like to share your ideas for our blog, email us at bcscommunity@bigceramicstore.com!

  • Every once in a while, I like to put my painting skills to use and increase the challenge level for myself. Ok, so my forte' is not painting, but I do know my way around mixing underglazes and a few simple brush strokes.

    How are your painting skills? Not so good you say? No worries, we'll go over a few simple techniques that will help you out. From mixing colors, to brushes and brush strokes, you will get a little more comfortable with trying it out.

    Grab your coffee, and follow me to the studio!

  • We reached out to our customers and ask them to show us their work, and we have discovered some amazing talent!

    Here you have it... another display of AWESOMENESS!

    Jenny Schultz Jenny Schultz

    Laura Kolinski Laura Kolinski

    David Woodin David Woodin

    Candace Hibbard Lillie Candace Hibbard Lillie

    Camille Hoffman Camille Hoffman

    Linda Finley Linda Finley

    Joanie Berkwitz Joanie Berkwitz

    Rowena Murray Coombes Rowena Murray Coombes

    Regina Forsythe-Tobin Regina Forsythe-Tobin

    Paul Blejwas Paul Blejwas

    Did you see our post on 4/27/16? We featured Lifelike Ceramic Handbags With BCS Customer JD Moore!

    Don't forget... we will be featuring more of our customers' work, the products and techniques they used, and maybe even step-by-step instructions in future posts, so keep an eye out for them!

    Do you want to submit your work, or possibly write an article for our blog? Shoot us an email at bcscommunity@bigceramicstore.com.

  • Are you always on the lookout for something simple to teach the kids? We've done some pretty neat ones here on our blog, but I think you will rate this one right up top! Very few supplies are needed, they are super cute, and each one will be different.

    Not looking for a kids project? No worries... these little beauties make the perfect birthday, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day and Thank You gifts! Personalize them and/or fill them with candy, jewelry or a gift card, and you will make someone very happy!

    This project is not only super easy, it's really fun! A simple pinch pot, topped off with a coil, and you've got a really cool  cupcake. But here's the best part... it opens up into a trinket box!

    Let's head out to the studio so we can give it a try!

  • Here on our blog, we like to give you tips/tricks and project ideas... today is no different. This post will show you a simple technique that can be used for the bigger, more challenging projects!

    There are so many ways to alter a pottery piece, but darting... well, it has got to be one of the easiest and ingenious ways. Who would have thought a simple cylinder with a dart or two could become a unique and fascinating work of art.

    I love the idea of squaring off a rounded plate or cup, or creating a neck on a cylinder by adding a couple darts. Since hand-building is my preferred method of pottery, darts have become an invaluable little secret.

    Are you ready to convert that simple cylinder into something really cool? Well grab your coffee and follow me to the studio!

    • 23 Pottery Tips from A Year of Reading Pottery Blogs - Pottery Making Info | http://www.potterymakinginfo.com/news/23-pottery-tips-reading-pottery-blogs/

      […] Darts For Aesthetics […]

    • Verbinnen helga | #

      Verry good explaning. I hope i can folow the site from belgium. Thanks

  • Have you been following along with our Monday posts featuring work created by our customers? If not, you don't know what you are missing!

    Here is the next group of amazing work in the series... Hope you enjoy them!

     

    Brenda Greenwood Brenda Greenwood

     

    Carol Meckling Carol Meckling

     

    Deb Babcock Deb Babcock

     

    George Mahalo George Mahalo

     

    James Schaefer James Schaefer

     

    Jerry Peters Jerry Peters

     

    Kay Bevan Kay Bevan

     

    Kris Craven Kris Craven

     

    Lena Lee Lena Lee

     

    Rex Halterman Rex Halterman

    Did you see our post on 4/27/16? We featured Lifelike Ceramic Handbags With BCS Customer JD Moore!

    Don't forget... we will be featuring more of our customers' work, the products and techniques they used, and maybe even step-by-step instructions in future posts, so keep an eye out for them!

    Do you want to submit your work, or possibly write an article for our blog? Shoot us an email at bcscommunity@bigceramicstore.com.

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