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Cardboard Stencils and Colored Slips Add Imagery and Texture to Slabs

Posted By Daryl Baird On March 13, 2013 @ 8:00 am In Ceramic Decorating Techniques,Daily,Features | 6 Comments

I love using stencils in my work. I’ve tried lots of different materials as stencils, but I had never thought to use cardboard. Karmien Bowman uses cardboard for stencils to create lively imagery as well as dimensionality on her slab built pottery.

 

In today’s post, an excerpt from From a Slab of Clay, Daryl Baird explains Karmien’s process.

 

 

 


 

Having dozens of clay tools is by no means a prerequisite for slab work. But, don’t be surprised as you work on your initial projects that you start looking at the utensils in your kitchen drawers or at the hand tools in your garage and find yourself thinking, “I wonder how those would work on clay?” If so, good for you!

 

Creating and Using Cardboard Stencils

 

Karmien Bowman of Flower Mound, Texas, creates stencils from pieces of thin cardboard. She places the cardboard shapes on a slab then brushes on slip.

 

After the slip sets up, she carefully removes the shapes. This needs to be done before the slip dries, otherwise it cracks off.

 

In the image to the left, Karmien uses a metal ring (a tart pan or springform pan from a cooking store might work well for this) to locate the best image and then cuts through the slab. Any shape can be cut using a fettling knife.

 

Finished shapes that have been allowed to set up over drape molds (bottom left). Colored slips add distinctive designs to rolled slabs.

 


 

You’d be amazed!
From simple trays and tiles to complex constructions, Daryl Baird shows you everything you need to know to get started and stay inspired for years.
In
From a Slab of Clay, you’ll find everything from the tools you need (including plans for building a slab roller) to 16 demonstrations where you can develop skills.

 

 


 

 

Finished platter by Karmien Bowman.

 

For more ways to add texture to your work, download your free copy of 
Ceramic Carving Tool Techniques: Bringing the Ceramic Surface to Life!

 


 

 
 

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