Funky Ceramic Wall Vase
Laura Jean McLaughlin sculpts a ceramic wall vase.
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Materials and Tools:
pre-pugged white stoneware clay
battleship gray linoleum
linoleum carving tools
1. Prepare a linoleum carving approximately 3" x 5". Carve the battleship gray linoleum with a carving tool to form the desired imagery.
2. Slice the de-aired pre-pugged white stoneware clay into four pieces of 1-inch to 2-inch thick clay slabs. Line up the clay slabs on the canvas in front of the slab roller.
3. Smooth these four slabs of clay together on both sides making sure that it is seamless.
4. Set the slab roller to about 1/4 inch thickness.
5. Line the canvas up in the slab roller and push the clay through the slab-roller.
6. Smooth the entire surface of the rolled out clay with a metal rib.
7. Cut out a triangular flat cone shape the desired size and length of the wall vase (figure A).
8. Discard the scrap slab of clay surrounding the triangular shape.
9. In the center of the triangular shape place the linoleum carving face down.
10. Press a rolling pin over the back of the linoleum carving. Apply consistent pressure to the entire back of the carving (figure B).
11. Smooth the clay around the linoleum carving with a metal rib.
12. Peel the linoleum off the clay surface. Since the linoleum is made from linseed oil, it automatically resists the clay and peels away leaving a beautifully crisp embossed surface (figure C).
13. Flip the triangular slab of clay over (embossed surface face down) and place rolled up newspaper in the center.
15. Twist the tail of the cone (figure E) around to make a squiqqle.
16. Smooth the back of the seam where the slab of clay joins.
17. Put two wads of clay on the back of the wall vase and poke holes in the wads of clay with the wire tool. Make the holes big enough for a wire to fit through after it is fired.
18. Gently wrap the wall vase with plastic and let it set up to the leather hard stage.
19. When the leather hard stage is reached, carve imagery and other details into the clay using a sgraffito tool (figure F).
20. Re-wrap the wall vase and let the clay reach bone-dry stage.
21. Place the wall vase into the kiln and fire the kiln to cone 04.
22. After the bisque firing, paint the wall vase with a black under glaze wash over the center area of the wall vase (figure G).
23. Gently sponge the wash off leaving the dark wash in the crevices. This will really pull the imagery out (figure H).
24. Glaze the inside of the wall vase by pouring the glaze into the vase and then dumping it out.
25. Paint the colored under glazes around the embossed imagery and black stripes on the tail of the wall vase in concentric rings.