Saturday, January 10, 2009

Oh yeah, I have a blog....

Oops. That was a long intermission between posts.

Well, since the last post much has happened, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, the end of the ground squirrel, and oh yeah, we got a kitten (now more like a little cat).
Plus I was hired to do a tile mural type thing for Resurrection Cemetery in Grand Rapids. Which is something I need to get started on pronto. In case your wondering, the design is based on an icon of the Catholic church, The Infant of Prague. Usually dressed up in fancy robes of gold and crimson, holding a world and signing peace, The Infant of Prague is generally blond haired and blue eyed. My infant distinctly resembles our 2 year + friend Iris. The older icons I looked at while researching this design featured babies that were kind of on the skinny side. So I thought I would make the infant a bit more chunky.

My plan is to create the 2'x3' mural out of porcelain clay 6"x6" tiles. I am going to try my hand at using a "slip trailing" technique. This means the design will be outlined on each tile using a liquid porcelain slip. The slip lines will be raised causing each area to look like little a pool. Glaze will be put into each pool area. Kind of like color by number with raised lines. Since I haven't done this before, it is all in my head right now. So onto testing.

Right now I am learning about deflocculating. No kidding. It is not some S & M thing. Deflocculating is making clay particles repel each other. And then this helps make a slip with less water. Slips that have as little water as necessary will shrink at the same rate (hopefully) as the clay that they are applied to. (well that is what I am understanding right now....I could be wrong.) So then the thought is that the slip lines will stick to the clay tiles and not dry at a different rate and fall off.

So now you know as much as I do about deflocculating. Yeah!


Brian and Becky said...

My brother has a fascination with the Infant of Prague. Points them out in every church. Has one in his house. How fun you will be designing one...and - next time you have to come to GR for "work", let's do lunch!

erinairout said...

love the chunky baby - a few rolls didn't hurt anyone!
good luck with the slip stuff. the girls will think this is some sort of new dress up!