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Cheerful Christmas Tree - Mold Adaptation in glazes: Article or Project

Modified greenware (or bisque) See Photo top right of page**
Small hole punch or skewer
Ceramichrome One Stroke D28 white*
Ceramichrome One Stroke T16 green*
Ceramichrome Underglaze 142 Jade green*
Duncan Concepts cn074 Really Red
Clear Glaze
Pallet or tile for colors
Soft bristle Fan brush #8
Long liner 20/0
Soft Filbert brush Olympic 710 #6 or similar
Qtip swabs
Clean up tool
Small pinlights
Small Eletric wiring kit.
Option: Elmer’s glue

*NOTE: Mayco now manufactures Ceramichrome and numbers may have changed.
*NOTE: Molds used are Gem #139 Candy Box and Nowells NM1943 Tri-base

More Details

If using the item in the photo, you will need the tree candy box by Gem Molds and the tree base by Nowell’s Molds. If you are not casting your own, give instructions to your supplier on prepping the ware.

When casting, cut a hole in the bottom of the candy box to fit the base. While wet, use a skewer or small punch tool and poke holes along the edges of the bands on the top and bottom parts of the box. See photo for reference. Use care to make sure holes go through the tree and not through the lip of the lid. DO NOT cut off the lip of the lid. DO NOT attach the lid to the bottom of the box. Put appropriate hole in center of base.

Clean greenware as normal. Gently wipe off the surface with a damp sponge to remove all clay dust.

Best to begin work on prepared greenware to save one firing.

Using the Filbert brush or similar, apply one coat of Bud green to all the leaves.

Fire with box lid in place to cone 04. If you are beginning on bisque, you will still need to fire before moving on to next step.

Pour a small amount of dark green on pallet and add a couple drops of water to thin slightly. Using the filbert, apply one coat only to the leaves. TIP, use your liner to create clean edges first then fill area with the Filbert. Let dry thoroughly. This does not take a lot of paint.

Using Q-tips, dip end in water, squeeze out access and then wipe off high points of leaves to show accent. Use new tips as needed to give clean contrast. You only need to address the tops of the leaves. Be careful to not get any on your background area of the tree. Let dry.

Using your filbert and liner, apply one coat of Red to ribbon, berries and trim. Let dry thoroughly... recommend a day to dry. Apply two more coats and again let dry thoroughly between coats. After third coat, if needed, you can clean up edges with a clean-up tool—be sure to remove all traces possible. TIP on reds: ‘lay’ your paint rather than brushing it on then smooth it out. Apply a bit heavier than other underglazes.

If you do any trimming, go back with your liner and touch up the edges with one or two coats of white (on background if needed). Make sure there are no traces of the green or red that was scraped away.

When dry apply one coat of clear glaze to entire surface. Use care to not fill the holes. Recommend patting the glaze over the red areas rather than brushing. Apply a second flowing coat to all areas except for red. A little over lap is ok, but too heavy an application of clear can sometimes cause the red to flow.

Make sure all the holes are free of glaze. A skewer or toothpick can help reopen any that are filled.

When dry, apply a small amount of slip in several places on the under-side of the lid next to the lip. Then press the lid onto the bottom of the box while slip is wet. Check carefully to make sure none oozed out of the seam. If so, gently clean away and apply light coat of glaze over the area. Use care when transporting so as to not break the seal.

Stilt and fire box together and Fire base stilted separately.

Wire electrical components to base and put pinlights in the holes. If you choose to glue the pinlights, I recommend using Elmer’s rather than a permanent glue in case you need or want to change any at a later date. Use a tiny amount of glue, just to hold lights in place.

You may order the tree and base used here from Majik Merlin’s Ceramics on Facebook


Article/Project Pictures:
Cheerful Christmas Tree - Mold Adaptation in glazes Cheerful Christmas Tree - Mold Adaptation in glazes

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