EXPLORING MAYCO'S STROKE AND COAT
Garlic Keeper: bisque at cone 04, glazed at cone 06 using Stroke and Coat glaze
According to Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers, it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become and expert at anything.
I think when it come to Ceramics I would add, and also 10,000 experiments and 10,000 mistakes. I'll be sharing some of mine with you in this blog post.
Work Of Our Hands Beads made in Namibia
Knowing my time in the USA would be longer this year , I was determined to search until I found a product to fix the production troubles I was having with my woman's bead making project in Africa. We had been using underglaze with a clear glaze top coat, but having many problems with the clear top coat.
Reading about Mayco's Stroke and Coat
® intrigued me because it was described as sort of an underglaze, but not needing a clear coat on top.
At first the product did not seem very versatile, because it's rather thick, and takes 3 coats. I was used to underglaze which can be thinned down to act like water colors and can produce incredible detail, I didn't think I could get the effects I wanted with Stroke and Coat. Then, I started to explore and found that it is actually extremely versatile. And indeed the "Wonder Glaze" they claim it is.I will tell you now about my discoveries.
STENCILING OR SCREEN PRINTING:Paint on your 3 base coats and then use a contrasting color to stencil or screen print on top of the base color.
On these pieces I painted 2 coats of Ivory and 1 coat of Cracker Jack Brown, then while the brown was still wet, I dabbed on some other colors,( green , dark brown, and orange) This gave me some subtle color variation.
DIMENSION Here I painted my 3 coats of base color, then put the contrast colors in squeeze bottles. Which I got here.It's even more dimensional if you do 2 coats of design.
WASHESAs long as you have 3 coats of base color you can thin down Stroke and Coat to a watery consistency for the last coat and wash over all or part of your piece.
PAINTERLYHere's a combination of colors and washes
As you may know, for Majolica you paint over a glaze. With Stroke and Coat, just paint on your 3 base coats and then add your detail painting on top. For the detail painting I only used 1 coat of glaze.
Note: Mayco recommends using their foundations line for the base coats, but I didn't have any so I used the Stroke and Coat® and in some instances I used transparent glaze as a base.
Cup with base coat of clear glaze and Stroke and Coat on top.
Stroke and Coat is suppose to work up to cone 6
(but they recommend firing at cone 06.) All the items above were fired at
Lets see how it does at cone 6:
I was very pleased with the color at cone 6
These samples have 3 coats of glaze.
Here is Stroke and Coat over cone 6 porcelain. I base coated each with clear glaze and then used 1 coat of Stroke and Coat. In some cases I like the water color look, in others not ! Worst of all, I lost my lettering at cone 6. The bottom of the bird cage said FLY.
This bowl was a real disaster. I stamped on the flower design and outlined with Mayco's Designer Liner. The Designer Liner is suppose to go to cone 6 but it also seems to spread at cone 6.
In summary and in my opinion, the glaze got an A+ at cone 06 and at cone 6 just know you will not get dimension or much detail but you should get great color.
One more detail I forgot to mention earlier, but all these pieces that I am not so happy with, can be reglazed with Stroke and Coat. I was very happy to discover that Stroke and Coat sticks very well to previously glazed beads and can give them new life !
Now I just have to see how much Stroke and Coat will fit in our suitcases and save my $ for that extra bag !
How to Make a Beads of Clay Treasury
Create an Etsy Treasury with Beads of Clay Members Items
( this was written with complete beginners in mind...hence the details and length...it's really very easy!)
Open two Browser windows or tabs.
From the Etsy home page click on the >TREASURY link in the lower left column “More way to shop”
Once on the Treasury page click on > CREATE A LIST…top right
You should see this:
You don’t need to title your Treasury right away, nor write a description. Wait for the inspiration after you have explored the BOC shops and found the items to include in your Treasury.
Go to your browser winndow that has the BOC Marketplace shops open.
RIGHT Click on the shop NAME you want to start with, a little pop-up will appear so you can select “Open page in new window”.
Explore the shop listings until you find one you want to add to your Treasury.
Highlight the URL of that listing by clicking once on the URL. ( it should be highlighted in blue)
Copy the URL
( “ctrl” & “c
Go back to the browser window with your Blank Treasury page and your cursor should already be flashing in the next available spot to add a listing. Hit “ctrl”& “v” to PASTE the url into the treasury. Then hit “OK”. And that item will appear!
Keep going back to various BOC shops to find listings, copy & paste them anywhere in your Treasury. You can rearrange them by dragging them around to a new spot. (Click, hold, drag)
Add Tags ( in the “tags” window on the right. Separate by commas):
Be sure to include:
BOC etsy team, BeadsofClay, Beads of Clay, ( you can copy and paste right from this document)
Add your title and description. It would be nice to include the URL for the BOC Marketplace page in your description to encourage viewers to visit all the shops. ( Elaine Ray does not have an etsy shop so she can not be included in any Treasuries)
Click on SAVE.
Copy the URL of your Treasury and post it on the BOC, CBC&AW Facebook page, your own FB page and anywhere else it may get seen (twitter etc). You can also email the link to all those included, but if they check their shop “activity” regularly it will show up there.
Have fun, be creative, try a theme ( motif, color, shape, season,). &Try not to repeat shops within your Treasury
Introducing.... Elaine Ray!
When Marla James asked for an "about me" post I said sure, no problem, easy peasy. Turns out this was a bit harder than I planned, but it got me thinking - what do I really have to say that is relevant and useful to others? Well, here it is:
Hello, my name is Elaine Ray and I make and sell ceramic beads and pendants. I am super lucky to have a great working relationship with and share the task of selling my beads and pendants with a local bead shop, Ornamentea, here in Raleigh, NC. Recently, I have been examining ways to increase sales (reading internet articles, listening to youtube videos and trying to keep current with Facebook groups such as Creative Bead Chat), which got me interested in analyzing designs I make and why I choose those designs. Many people would consider some of what I do "production work" - which is fine with me. It seems an accurate description for some items and one I don't shy away from. This was an especially good approach for me when my kids were still in elementary, middle and high school since at that time in my life, most of my artistic, one of kind, solution finding creative energy was directed at keeping everyone "on track" and supporting school activities. Now my kids are grown up and my creative energy is free to flow more directly to my beads and pendants. Earlier this year I decided to work exclusively on new designs / colors for one month. During the first two weeks I concentrated on new shapes, colors, methods and tools. The second two weeks were for sorting out successful from not so successful designs, tweaking for ease of production and producing for sales. I have always made new designs and used new colors, but never with such extended single mindedness. During that month, when I was feeling creatively stuck it was tempting to allow myself some time to work on my familiar, well known shapes but I resisted that temptation and for that month I "just said no" to those old friends. This was a bit nerve wracking for me to take a whole month to make items I wasn't sure anyone would buy instead of making items that were out of stock - items that I knew would sell. When the month was over, I realized it was an important step for me to take. I was reminded to allot adequate time to let new ideas out to play, not just squeezing in some experimental time here and there. Some ideas from that month are now in production, some are yet to be presented to the public and some never made it past the testing stage. Thankfully, both the successes and failures continue to lead me on paths to more new ideas, and so on and so on.
To circle back and sum up this post: I'm now managing my time with a better balance between making familiar, less mentally demanding items and pursuing new ideas. When I sit down to make familiar shapes (such as rounds or lentils) I let my mind wander around all it wants, but take good notes and make lists of the ideas as they zoom around in my head so they don't get lost. Then later, I allot adequate time to work through the new ideas, not letting myself go back to the familiar too soon if things get tough. This has seemed to impact my sales favorably and I'm enjoying my work even more.
I hope I have offered some useful insight to how I work and that it may be of benefit to your craft. If you have time, leave a comment about ideas that you have tried and how those ideas impacted your immediate or long term sales.
Thanks for stopping by, Elaine
MAKING A PORCELAIN FLOWER
Have a few tools gathered such as a dowel, knitting needles or skewer, water and small brush, clay and rolling pin, cookie cutters or other cutters, a hair dryer is nice but not essential.
Roll out your clay about 1/8" thick and cut with a fondant cutter, cookie cutter or pattern of your own.
Pinch and smooth the edges of your petals so they are nice and tapered. cover with plastic so they don't dry out while you make the flower center.
cut a long rectangle of clay and make it like fringe with lots of little cuts.
Roll this strip around your knitting needle or skewer.
If you want your petals textured, now is the time to do it. Here you see a texture mold I made in clay to press petals against.
As well as texture, this mold gives a nice curve to the petal.
Wet the bottom of the rolled center and begin to press on petals. Now it starts to get tricky with porcelain because it has no wet strength and the petals want to flop around. Sometimes I give it a little burst of air from a hair dryer as I go.
Ok all petals are attached, but notice how I hold it in the cup of my hand? If not the petals would be broken off by now as they flop down. At this point I like to dry it a bit hanging upside down.
If your finished flower is for a brooch, don't bother with the this step, but if it will end up with a stem, then you will now add a calyx.
Walaa Finished. Well....... except for drying , painting, firing, glazing, firing again.
Here are some variations
And of course a rose.
Now that you have seen what mere mortals can do, check out the Porcelain flower "god".......Vladimir-Kanevsky
I would die to be his studio slave and learn !
If you would like to see more of my work
and my Story, please visit:
Voting has Ended!!!We have a Winner!!!!
This designer had the most votes (32) and wins
over $200 worth of Ceramic Beads and Pendants
from some of our Beads of Clay members!
(including LisaPetersArt, Jeraluna, Marlasmud,
Duane Collins, Elaine Ray and Marti Conrad )
Happy Valentines Dayfrom Beads of Clay!
I hope you love hearts as much as We do!
Here are a bunch of Ceramic Hearts to drool over. :-)
And if you love them, you may pop over to our member stores to purchase.
(Just click on the Store Names)
History and Lore of gems - amethyst
Color: Purple, violet, pale red-violet
Chemical composition: SiO, silicon dioxide
Crystal system: (Trigonal), hexagonal prisms
Hardness: 7 (Mohs scale)
Amethyst location and depositsThe most important deposits are in Brazil, namely the "Palmeira" amethysts of Rio Grande do Sul and the "Maraba" amethysts of Para. Other deposits are found in Bolivia, Canada, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Russia, Sri Lanka, United States (Arizona), Uruguay and Zambia.
Amethyst is a variety of quartz which occurs in transparent light to dark purple. The darker more intense colors are more valuable than the lighter smoky or lavender color. Dark rich, royal colors of amethyst have been treasured by kings and queens for centuries and can be traced back to the Minoan period in Greece (c. 2500 B.C.). During the 15th century the French fleur-de-lis brooch could only be worn by the Royal family on ceremonial occasions. (Logical as purple has long been a color associated with royalty - due to the nature of the rare dyes used to create the color.)
- The name comes from the Ancient Greek ἀ a- ("not") and μέθυστος methustos ("intoxicated"), a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness. The ancient Greeks and Romans wore amethyst and made drinking vessels of it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication.
- Medieval Bishop's wore amethyst rings - in an effort to keep these powerful men sober and in control of their faculties!
- Amethyst beads have been unearthed in Anglo Saxon graves in England.
In the Egyptian book of the dead, instructions are given for placing heart shaped amethysts on the body of the deceased.
By far my favorite treasure I have discovered about amethyst? This myth from Ancient Greece - by way of a romantic French troubadour of the 16th century :
Dionysus, the god of intoxication, of wine, and grapes was pursuing a maiden named Amethystos, who refused his affections. Amethystos prayed to the gods to remain chaste, a prayer which the goddess Artemis answered, transforming her into a white stone. Humbled by Amethystos's desire to remain chaste, Dionysus poured wine over the stone as an offering, dyeing the crystals purple.
Variations of the story include that Dionysus had been insulted by a mortal and swore to slay the next mortal who crossed his path, creating fierce tigers to carry out his wrath. The mortal turned out to be a beautiful young woman, Amethystos, who was on her way to pay tribute to Artemis. Her life was spared by Artemis, who transformed the maiden into a statue of pure crystalline quartz to protect her from the brutal claws. Dionysus wept tears of wine in remorse for his action at the sight of the beautiful statue. The god's tears then stained the quartz purple.
Portrait of Roman Emperor Caracalla; Amethyst intaglio, ca. 212 CE.
From the treasury of the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris.
Attributes of amethyst:
- thought to be helpful in overcoming addiction.
- used for hearing disorders, insomnia, headaches and other pain.
- Worn to make the wearer gentle and amiable.
- Amethyst powers include: dreams, healing, peace, love, spiritual upliftment, courage, protection against thieves, and happiness.
The largest Amethyst geode in the world,
The Empress of Uruguay,
resides in The Crystal Caves in Australia. (zivajewels.com)
Until next month... enjoy!
First Friday Art Walk on Etsy.com
Welcome to the First Friday Art Walk on Etsy.com
Here you will find a selection of items from our BOCPAT members showing off their new work.
We also have a new page on our blog where you can virtually "window shop" our members Etsy shops for their latest shop updates by simply scrolling down the page. Click HERE
to jump there.
Then click on any of their individual shops for items that you want!
And as always, shop any of our BOCPAT member Etsy shops by clicking on these links below:
Tucson Bead Shows 2013
Every year in Tucson Arizona between late January through the middle of February, the world seems to come together to gather to show off and sell their wares at the
Tucson Bead, Gem, Fossil and Mineral Shows.
I counted 39 shows on the Interweave Press Tucson Show Guide Web Page
(7 shuttle routes - wow!).
You can find huge crystals bigger than most people, assortments of fossils, gemstones galore, pearls of all kinds, sometimes bits of meteor, even museum quality dinosaur replicas, and of course:
Handmade Artist Beads!
There are three of our Beads of Clay Professional Artist Team members traveling out to Tucson to sell their handmade goods.
If you are there, stop by and see their goods (and buy some of course) and meet them in person!
Here are some photos of their work and the artists themselves so that you may know them by sight...
February 2-11, 2013:
Joan says their booth is near the entrance!
February 2-11, 2013:
Booth 309 in the Grand Pavillion
February 6-10, 2013:
There are many things to see and do out in the Tucson area if you need a break from an overwhelming week of bead shows.
So if you have not gone, and you want to, consider making a vacation of it and rent a house and car with a bunch of beady friends for a week.
Here are some tips to being prepared to purchase.
If you are wanting to buy for your "business" make sure you have copies of your business license with your EIN number, email address and phone number on it for easy transactions.
Bring plenty of cash, travelers checks, business checks or your credit card as every vendor accepts different forms of payment, and you want to be prepared.
Be ready to meet seller minimums in order to qualify for discount or wholesale pricing.
If you are traveling out to Tucson to purchase, and plan on using your credit card:
Call your credit card company before leaving home to let them know you are going to be traveling and making purchases from vendors from possibly all over the world during a certain period of time and for them to not flag your card as being stolen or compromised.
This is something I learned as a vendor and purchaser out in Tucson for a number of years.
Have fun out there!
If you get back and have pics or a blog post to share about your Tucson experience, link it up here in the comments below!
Those of us that don't get to go would love to see them!
Jewelry Designers Fabulous Gift Ideas
Here is a selection of very unique handmade jewelry that features handmade beads made by our BOCPAT members. (Thank You to the jewelry designers that continually support our members shops by buying our handmade beads to use in their work).
And to our talented BOCPAT artists that love making jewelry as much as they do making beads:
It's wonderful to help support a whole line of Artists by buying handmade gifts from the Jewelry Designers that buy beads from us.
Your gift will have layers of meaning and handmade time put into it, that the receiver is bound to treasure it...
For our previous posts in this gift series:
Handmade Gift Ideas for Valentine's Day
Here is a selection of finished handmade items from our Beads of Clay Professional Artists Team perfect for gifts for the fast approaching Valentine's Day Holiday.
Want to see some beads, pendants, and cabochons perfect for your Valentine's Day Project.
for our previous post.
Color Inspiration Pieces by BOCPAT
We would like to thank Brandi Hussey
for posting such wonderful palettes here on our BOC Blog in the last few months to provide us with a seasonal palette of inspiration for our bead making and your jewelry designs. Her images and palettes are so right on, and we love how professional they are...
|Brandi Girl Blog|