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

 

Bees Making Honey, Lucy Making Honey Jars

The bees have been busy making honey, and I have been busy making honey jars, and videos!

Our hive is thriving this summer! I so enjoy just sitting next to the hive watching them buzz in and out. Below is a photo of the bees on a very hot August day. Bees never cease to amaze me. They each have their jobs to do… here they are busy cooling the hive. The job of this group of bees is to fan the hive on hot days. Other bees are out gathering nectar, and some are capping nectar, while the queen has only one job, to lay eggs to keep the colony going strong.

Making Honey

While these bees have been busy making honey I have been busy making honey jars! Somehow the delicious, golden honey, seems to be influencing my pottery. I have found a glaze color that is a perfect match for golden honey. I have a couple of these available on my shop page here.

Making Honey Jars Lucy Fagella

I have also been having a little fun making another one of my “Quick Pottery” videos! This short video shows a cross section of a honey jar. I find that cutting a piece in half is a good way to show my students where the wall of a pot needs to be thicker or thinner. For this particular one piece lidded jar, it is important to leave a thicker portion of clay where the lid will be cut.

To see more videos on how I make the honey jar on the potters wheel, visit my YouTube channel here.

Cross Section of a Citrus Juicer

Sometimes it’s good to show a cross section of a citrus juicer. This is one of those pieces that most people ask me how it is made. So I put together this 40 second video to give an idea of how it is made by cutting it in half.

You can find this in my shop here, for purchase. If you would like to see more video on how the citrus juicer is made on the potters wheel, please visit my YouTube channel here!

Citrus Juicer Reamer Lucy Fagella

Glaze Dip Video

Glaze Dip, a “Quick Pottery” video.

This is one of my “Quick Pottery” videos to demonstrate how wax resist is used to create a pattern when brushed over a base glaze then dipped in a second glaze. The first glaze that I use is a nice medium blue matt glaze. I then paint on a wax resist pattern of leaves and vines, I let the wax resist dry, and dip it into a dark blue glaze. Take a look at the video on my You tube channel!

The urn that is pictured in the video was sold shortly after it came out of the kiln. Last week I did make a couple more like it, and just glazed them up today. See the photo below. They will go in the firing next week… just hoping they come out as good as the first one! If all comes out as planned look for them on my shop page at LucyFagella.com

 

ready for the kiln LucyFagella.com

Making Oval Pitchers

Making oval pitchers (or any oval form) is one of the easier projects on the potters wheel. Basically every beginner student has mistakenly gone through the bottom of a pot. When you make an oval form on the potters wheel you just go through the bottom on purpose! Well, there is a little more to it than that, so here are two very quick videos to see how it is done. The first video is only 20 seconds, showing how I make a spout for the oval pitcher. The second video is a little over a minute showing how to join the oval to a cutout slab of clay for the bottom. You can see how I join a handle to this pitcher in an earlier post here.

If you would like to see all of my videos in one place visit my Youtube Channel here, where you can subscribe to keep up with the latest videos!

The finished pitcher fresh from the kiln.

Making Oval Pitchers Lucy Fagella