29 June 2012

How to Mosaic Using Ceramic Leaf shapes

This is how I made the leaf mosaic pieces. 

Press leaves into a smooth slab of clay.- Thickness should be uniform.. Mine was about 6mm thick in this case. I have used wild geranium, nasturtium, bouganvillea and cluster fig leaves.

Then, when the clay has firmed a little more, cut around the shapes with a pottery knife (or an ordinary kitchen knife- that works too)
Leave overnight. Do not pick up the pieces or handle them while the clay is soft.

The next day, once the clay is past the floppy stage, you can lift them and carefully remove excess 'between bits' for recycling.
Use a damp sponge to clean up the edges, leaving the leaf on the surface, to protect the leaf imprint in the clay from being wiped off.

Peel off the leaf and gently wipe edges one more time.

Now allow them to dry. Not too fast or they will start warping.
They are fired 2 x after this, you can apply the colour pigments or underglazes at this stage or at glazing stage, it depends on the effect you want.
The lovely "surfboard" shape of the leaf is wonderful to work with- look how they fit snugly together on the board while they dry. So easy to work with and put into position.
Craig's Table

My table top in progress

Sally, my mosaic student did well with her 2nd mosaic project

One of my first leafy table tops

mosaic seat in progress, with red leaves, a cat and
other bits and pieces

Green glazed leaves over a brown pigment in the veins of the leaf detail on table top

An easy mosaic project, using leaf mosaic pieces in dove grey, blues and mauve

'mosaic lessons' and various mosaic things decorating the outside of the Knysna Pottery House

an owl and a hare with various odd leaf tiles that no one wanted

More chair seats using leftover leaf mosaic pieces

Sally, my mosaic student, doing a fine job of an umbrella stand for her mother, who is the owner of one of my first leaf table tops. So this umbrella stand will match it nicely.

08 June 2012

Winter, mosaic artist in hibernation

I really should update this blog more often. I only like to do that when I actually have something new to show- but I have no new  mosaic projects for a good few reasons. It is winter, it is cold and my enthusiasm levels are low.

I would like to start a new range of really small ceramic things- buttons, inserts, miniature art. The Knysna Pottery House is going full steam ahead, with many projects and commissions and a new pottery teacher on the team. I am temporarily without transport, so am stuck at home for a bit.

My grown up sons have left home,  I still have my kiln and slab roller at home, all I need is some clay, Plaster of Paris for the moulds, and  some enthusiasm. And of course a market to buy the new range.

I have been decorating ceramics- doing quite a lot of houses and landscapes on buildings, painted on large platters and I have enjoyed that for a while. I discovered I can do a good portrait as well. But who on earth would want a portrait of themselves on a tile or a plate- except the Queen of England maybe?

 Recently a SA artist became famous overnight because he did an "artwork" depicting our president with his rude parts exposed. Oh- the hoo ha that created. Maybe I should do an artwork of  Prez. Zuma and his multiple wives and children, grandchildren- - also shocking in some way- and get free publicity?  Ha ha! No way- you have to be absolutely crazy to attract that kind of hate and negative media attention from all the verkrampte (conservatives) in this country. I am certain the artist got a few death threats. Please note- I have not named the artist or the artwork- as it deserves no more attention.

So here are a few of my ceramic plates.

Noetzie beach, Knysna

Palm trees

Thesen House, Knysna

2 large carved vases and a white mosaic mirror by Ruth

Some old houses in Knysna.