Test 4 – Oxide bubbles

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Test 4 - Oxide bubbles

This test combines the building methods I am developing with the application of oxides via blowing bubbles.

The outer surface of the piece has come apart quite a lot and the work is very fragile. One possible explanation for this is that because the work had dried before I applied the wet oxides, the extra water pulled the outer surface away as it absorbed and expanded the material. I might be able to avoid this in the future by preparing the oxide-bubbles in advance and applying them before the papier-mâché has dried.

Test 3 – Faux Papier Mâché on slab built bowl

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Test 3 - Faux Papier Mâché on slab built bowl

This bowl was made using a slab-built base with the slip & paper faux papier mâché technique that I am developing. The idea of this bowl was to both explore different methods of strengthening my bowl and produce a smoother interior surface suitable for the application of transfer prints. This bowl was unsuccessful in it’s endeavour as the paper pulled away from the surface during firing producing a very fragile surface texture. Unfortunately as it is, this texture is so fragile the bowl cannot be picked up without more chips coming away. I find this unfortunate because I think the texture it created is really beautiful. The flaking surface screams “decay” whilst the white porcelain simultaneously produces a calm and pure notion.

It would be excellent to see if this method could be used in the construction of a wall plaque protected from dust and decay by a glass covering.
It would also be interesting to see how much of this texture would survive the application of a transparent gloss glaze using the spray booth to see if it can be strengthened.
This piece has only been bisque fired… I wonder how much texture would survive the vitrification point if re-fired.

Test 3 – Concealed shells

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Test 3 - Concealed shells

Reflecting back to the nature inspired origins of my project, I decided to include some small shells and bits of broken shells/coral inside the layers of the paper. The idea was to see if the salts and minerals they possess would burn out and leave behind some sort of colouring or marking in the clay surface. Unfortunately, the shells just burnt away, leaving hollows in the bowl and producing a more crumpled texture.

Test 2 – Faux Papier Mâché

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Test 2 - Faux Papier Mâché

I produced this test to see if my faux papier mâché technique would work. As predicted, the bowl is very fragile in this bisque-fired state and has broken a little around the edges. I had another test that was made using thinner slip but that one was destroyed entirely in the kiln.
The difference between this and the destroyed bowl is that this bowl has an extra layer of slip that was applied to the outside using a paint brush.
However, I predict that with more applications of slip and paper around the rim (particularly if I can find a way to fold the paper in to the inside of the bowl) and a fairly thick application of a clear gloss glaze, the method would prove successful in producing a drinking bowl. The result will still be fragile but only to the same sort of extent of precious glassware… still suitable for adult use but will smash if dropped.

Test 1 – Paint Bubbles

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Test 1 - Paint Bubbles

I produced this test piece to help predict how the bubbles might land and stain the surface of a 3D ceramic artefact. For this, I omitted the use of oxides in the bubble mixture for a harmless paint. This also allowed me to safely grasp the size and necessities of the working area required before introducing the dangerous oxides. From this test, I have found that the bubbles are likely to work excellently on a smooth ceramic surface and have discovered the best way to direct the bubbles around a 3D object.