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Making Clay Logo Templates
I was asked a few weeks ago to make some mugs with a company's logo on it. Since I don't slip cast, I figured the best way for me to do it would be to make a template, and hand build them.
I reached out to a few people with CNC Routers, to make them out of wood for me, however; they just didn't turn out as I had planned. The amount of time I had to put into them to "clean-up" the wording was definitely not cost effective!
What to do??? Well, I decided to bring out the Dremel Tool and a piece of printing linoleum, then try my hand at carving the logo.
This is how I did it...
1. The first step is to make a computer printout of the project. If you aren't real handy on the computer, you may want to enlist the help of someone who is.
- I measured a piece of paper the size of the slab I would use, rolled it into the shape of my mug, then marked where I wanted the images to go. Once that was done, I placed the images where I needed them on the computer printout.
- Remember to invert the lettering or when you impress the clay it will be backwards.
- Using the pencil, cover the back of the images to make a "carbon copy" type paper for transferring to the linoleum
- Cutting the linoleum to the exact size you want the clay makes it easy to trim your slab if you want
- Lay the transfer paper on the linoleum and trace the designs... be sure to apply firm pressure so it transfers easily
- Practice, practice, practice... don't go straight to the "master" template with the Dremel tool if you're not familiar with the engraving process. Try it out on the scraps of linoleum you cut off, or use a whole new sheet to perfect your technique!
4. Once the template is complete, you're ready to start making the mugs!
- Roll out a slab of clay
- Lay the slab over the template and use a roller to impress the designs
- Trim the clay around the template (if you cut the template to size)
- Allow the clay to stiffen a little to make the rolling process a bit easier
- Score/slip both ends and roll your clay into a mug body
- Attach a base and handle
- Clean up the designs with a damp brush once it's firm enough as to not leave heavy brush strokes in the surrounding clay
- Set the mug aside to dry then fire as usual