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Terra Sigillata







After firing your pottery or ceramic greenware it is called bisque.
The bisque can be finished with underglazes, glazes or non-fired paints.
Here we will only concentrate on the fired glazes and underglazes.

Painting Bisque

Before you begin painting always be sure to wipe your ceramic piece down with a damp sponge.
This will make sure that there is no dust on your piece which could cause the glaze to pull away and leave a bare spot.
Dampening helps the bisque to accept the glaze.
A dry piece of bisque will instantly absorb all the moisture in the glaze, causing your brush to grab.
Glazes and underglazes should flow smoothly from the brush.

Underglaze is generally used for detail painting, though it can be used to cover the entire piece if you so desire.
Use an appropriate sized brush, not too small.
For long flowing lines, use a liner, loading it carefully so the paint flows freely from the bristles.
After painting your detail on the piece you should sponge or lightly brush on the first coat of clear glaze.
Allow this first coat to dry, then paint on two more coats, being careful not to smear your detail paint.
You can also dip the piece in a clear dipping glaze.

If you are coating your piece with one glaze, paint three flowing coats of glaze on your piece, being careful of brushstrokes which could show up in unleaded glazes.
If you are applying crystal glaze you should pick up the crystals and apply to the piece while applying the third coat of glaze.
Do not place crystals too near the bottom of the piece or you could end up having little glaze feet holding your piece up in the air or even sticking it to the kiln shelf.

In the most simplistic terms, glaze is made up of tiny glass particles which melt at high temperatures and chemically fuse with the bisque during the firing process in the kiln.
Do not forget, glazed bisque pieces must be stilted on special stands made of nichrome wire and must not touch each other or anything else in the kiln or else they will be fused together.
There is nothing more disappointing than finding your piece glued to the kiln shelf!
It happens to everyone at some point and that's why you should always coat your kiln shelves with kiln wash.

After loading the kiln, the firing process takes many hours.
The kiln is heated to a temperature that is appropriate for the cone number being fired, ensuring that the glaze has properly matured.
The kiln is then allowed to cool for at least as long as it was heated.
When completely cool, the kiln is unloaded and the stilt marks are carefully removed from the bottom of each item with a stilt stone.
If you want to, you can cover each stilt mark with clear sealer or clear nail polish.

Glaze not only strengthens your pottery or ceramic, but it beautifies it too.

If you don't have bad days, you won't recognize the good days.



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Have you ever come up with a good idea while working with your handmade pottery and thought that you would like to share it with others? You have? Well, why not send it to us and we will add it to the tips page for all to see.

Handmade pottery can be a very gratifying hobby that produces fun and satisfying results. For many people it's an enjoyable release that is created by working an inanimate mound of clay into a beautiful work of art that you made through your artistic abilities.

The best way of starting out is to take a few lessons from Youtube. You will probably waste quite a bit in materials when you first get started. Figuring out how to truly make handmade pottery correctly and shape into what you want it to be can be quite an ordeal. The different tools that a normal shop will have can be fun to try. You will soon see which ones you like to use the most and then when you are ready you will know which ones to buy.

With the help of the internet, you can now purchase most if not all of your ceramic and pottery tools and supplies online. We are located far from any well supplied dealers and yet working with reliable ceramic and pottery suppliers online has allowed us to recieve most of our orders within a timely manner.

When you get all set up, just enjoy the hobby and have fun at it. Some people get pretty serious and start selling their creations at craft fairs and small stores, but others just like to create items for themselves, relatives, and friends. Whichever kind of handmade pottery you desire to endeavor, enjoy the hobby and have fun doing it.

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