Monday, June 22, 2009

June 15 - 22 "Batik" Type Resist with Underglazes

Well in one of my posts to Clayart I mentioned all the different techniques that I use, include "batik type resist with underglazes". A clayarter asked me to elaborate so I have included two pictures of 2 plates done a couple of years ago in that method and a brief explanation. They were done in oxidation fired to cone 7 1/2 and sprayed with Stoney White over non-commercial brown and blue underglazes. There is also a bit of overspray with rutile/gerstley borate and rutile/gerstley borate/red iron to give beige and darker beige highlights.

I refer to it as "batik" because you do it backwards as you would batik. First I wax all the areas where I do not want underglaze which is usually most of the pot. Then on the wheel I brush on the first base underglaze. Doing it on the wheel gives you an even coat. You also get little beads of underglaze on the waxed areas that add to the design. The beads kind of are reminiscent of the crackle lines that you get in batik.

I usually use a brown iron underglaze first. Then I wax the areas that I want to keep brown. So then I brush on the blue underglaze. If I wanted a third colour like green, I would wax out the areas that I want to stay blue and then brush on the green etc. I usually just use brown and blue. Now you have to rebisque to burn off the wax. So it is more time consuming but it gives a totally different effect than drawing directly. Try it and you will see what I mean.

I use this technique as I do not have very good drawing skills. I could let's say draw a flower in blue and brown underglaze but it would end up amateurish. By using the "batik" method I draw around the outline of the flower, the leaves, the petals, the stem and somehow that gives a very different effect and takes away some of the need to have good drawing skills - it adds a bit of naivety and simplicity. Not sure if that makes sense. In the 70's and 80's I guess that was my style, trying for a reduction look in electric. As I now have use of a gas kiln I no longer use this as much, though I am trying to find a glaze for cone 10 redux that would work with underglazes like the Stoney White.

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