Using Shellac Resist on Pottery

Shellac resist on pottery…

Using shellac, or wax resist is a wonderful but time intensive way to create a relief pattern. I start this process using a piece of pottery that is fully dry. The first step is to draw a design on the porcelain, (porcelain works best because there is no sand or grog in it). Planning drawings and patterns involves thinking about both the positive and negative space. For this particular piece of pottery shown in the video below, I have created a grid, then an abstract leaf pattern. This pattern is ancient, and can be found everywhere from the tiles of Islam, to early American quilts. The positive and negative space on this grid leaf pattern creates an optical illusion. Some of my favorite images of this come from quilts.

Once I have penciled in the imagery I paint over it with wax resist. The wax will burn out in the kiln firing. Some potters use shellac, but I am not fond of the smell. After the wax or shellac is totally dry, (an hour or so), I begin to sponge off the clay around the imagery. This slowly takes away as much or as little clay that you want. I have to be careful at this point not to go through the clay where it is thin! When I want to get into the tiny detailed spots I use an old dental tool and carve away the wax, then wipe that area with the sponge. After a day or so I can then put it in the kiln for the first firing.

The next step is the glazing and the glaze firing. The photo below shows a few finished urns glazed in a clear glaze, which allows for the pure white porcelain to shine through. You can find these on LuciaUrns.com.

shellac resist on pottery, white on white petals urn lucyfagella.com

 

Keepsake Urn

A keepsake urn/treasure jar to hold the memory of a loved one.

keepsake urn sea glass green Lucy Fagella

This keepsake urn was made recently for a customer. It was a special order for a loved one who died in their family. I usually do this urn in a creamy white with a brown under the cut out area of the three footed bottom. customer wanted it in my seaglass/turquoise color. Many times when a customer asks me to do a certain color I am hesitant. There are sometimes though I feel like the request will work out really well. This was one of those times. I liked it so much that I will add it to my line of urns. These will be available soon on my shop page!

I am currently working on a new shop page which should be up in the next week or so. Currently I have two shop pages, For the Kitchen and Lucia Urns which bring you to a secure Square shop. The problem with it is that it takes you off my website… and doesn’t seem to bring you back too easy. Customers have been having some trouble with it, and I have been looking for something that works more seamlessly on my end too. The new shop that is coming soon is a WooCommerce shop which is made for WordPress websites. It will keep you on my website yet provide you with a secure site to use your credit card through Paypal or to just use Paypal. There will be a shop for urns, and a shop for the kitchen.

Here is a photo of the original footed keepsake urn which is currently available in my shop.

keepsake urn peaceful white LucyFagella.com

Carved, Etched, Engraved, Incised?

Urn Process Wax Resist method luciapottery.com

How do you do that? Are these carved, etched, engraved, incised? These are the questions I inevitably get asked when people see these urns. The above photo is work in process – where you can see the green wax resist pattern/decoration on the porcelain clay. This method is called shellac resist or water etching. The medium I choose is wax rather than shellac, mainly because I don’t like the odor of the shellac. They both work the same way in terms of resisting the water from my sponge as I rub the surface of the clay (water abraision). So I guess in a sense they are carved, incised, engraved or etched… just put the word water in front of those words. Water incised clay, water etched clay, water carved clay, water engraved clay. Potters just tend to say shellac resist method!

To see these finished urns just go to my urn page here on the website.

Work in Process – Tall Two Piece Forms

Making tall two piece forms is certainly a good post for work in process as there are many steps to the finished product. In an earlier post I showed a quick one minute video on how I join two 8″ pieces together to make a 16″ form, (granted this is not that tall, but this is the size I need for this urn project).  In this post I will show a photo of work in process, and a short video on how I carve the foot. In my next post I will talk about how I use wax resist to make a floral/vine pattern on the urn.

Process two piece urns luciapottery

 

Spring at Lucia Pottery

The dogs, Daisy and Willow are guarding the studio as usual, while I am making my pots. My focus right now in the studio is stocking up on urns.  I have made my very smallest keepsakes to my largest urns, and have very tired hands to prove it. Now I’m giving it a rest and taking photos for my etsy FoodieCeramics shop, and my etsy LuciaUrns shop.  This coming week I will be in the fields and woods picking leaves and flowers for my yearly springtime making of biodegradable urns. And lastly, I having been watching a lot of baseball.  Only one son is playing this year as the other is off to college and not playing for now.  The Greenfield HS varsity team did very well again this year, not as good as last year (winning the Western MA championship).  They lost yesterday in the Western MA final.  Today the summer American Legion league started, so not even a day break for a baseball mom!

Lazy Memorial Day weekendReady to carveAll Sizes of UrnsFields of Grass Urn dryingGreen leaves urns drying