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Sunset Silhouette - Sponged Glazes: Article or Project

Suitable bisque item fired to 04 (plain, no design)
Blick Gloss Essentials Glaze (available from Dick Blick):
Black 2026
Lemon 4066
Mandarin 4916
Candy apple 3196
Emerald isle 7056 (optional)
Clear Glaze
Suitable soft bristle brushes for detailing
Several silk sponges
Palette or container for glaze colors
Turntable (optional)

More Details

1. Choose an item that has no design and which has been fired to cone 04-02 (hotter cone for utility ware).

2. If you cannot reach inside a container to apply glazes, you may want to roll a clear glaze inside by diluting some of the glaze 3:1 with water. (3 parts glaze to 1 part water…mixed well). Wipe exterior off with silk sponge before applying colors and let dry.

Base (Sunset look)
There are two ways you can go about doing this.

Option one
Step one:
Pour a small amount of Blick Lemon glaze, Blick Mandarin glaze, and Blick Candy Apple glaze into separate dishes that are big enough to fit your sea sponges.


Step two:
Choosing one of your colors, dip a moistened sea sponge (but squeeze out excess water) into the glaze. If the glaze is dripping off your sponge use the corner of your dish to brush off any excess glaze.


Step three:
Using the moistened sea sponge with selected glaze, start blotting the sponge onto your ceramic piece in areas that you would like the sunset design to appear.


Step four:
Clean off your sponge and continue steps two and three with the next color until all three colors (Lemon, Mandarin, and Candy Apple) are on your piece, and there is no white/bisque showing. You will want to overlap all colors to show layers. Refer to photo


Step five (optional):
If there are still areas on your ceramic piece that do not have glaze on them, you can go in and add glaze by dabbing it on with a paint brush. (Personally I like the variety in texture/look and do not fill in any areas where the ceramic body is showing, however bare areas will not be food/water tight)


Option two
Step one:
Cover the areas on your ceramic piece that you would like the sunset design to appear in 1 thick coat of Candy Apple glaze using a large paint brush. This will create a base for your piece's sunset look.

Step two:
Pour a small amount of Blick Lemon glaze and Blick Mandarin glaze into separate dishes that are big enough to fit your sea sponges.

Step three:
Choosing one of your colors (Lemon or Mandarin), dip your sea sponge into the glaze. If the glaze is dripping off your sponge use the corner of your dish to brush off any excess glaze.

Step four:
Using your sea sponge with selected glaze, start blotting the sponge onto the Candy Apple glazed areas.

Step four:
Clean off your sponge and continue steps two and three with the next color until both colors (Lemon and Mandarin) are on your piece creating layers. Refer to photo.


Palm Tree Silhouettes

Step one:
With Blick Black glaze and a suitable soft bristle brush, create the trunk of your palm tree . It should start wide at the base and become thin at the top where your branches will be. (see photo top right of page)

Step two:
Continuing with the glaze, create the tops of your palm tree branches by making a thin sweep from the top of your palm tree trunk. The way the sweep is angled is up to you. You will repeat this action a few times to create all of the bases for your palm tree branches, again the number is up to you.


Step three:
Now, using the Blick black glaze on a micro paint brush (depending on the size of your piece you may be able to do this with a normal paint brush), on each branch create thin lines moving away from the top of the trunk in various lengths to create individual leaves.

Step four:
Repeat steps one through three to create multiple palm trees. Mix angles, sizes, and closeness of the trunks. I looked up “palm trees” on Google to get ideas for shapes and placement.

Step five (optional):
Using Blick Emerald Isle glaze on a micro paint brush create thin streaks in your palm tree's leaves to mimic light shining through. Keep in mind that this is a silhouette so there shouldn't be too many streaks as the palm tree should be primarily black.

Final touches

To finish your piece, using your Blick Black glaze fill in the bottom of your piece to create the ground. The rest of this is all optional. Personally I felt that my piece had a few areas where it needed a “little something”. I went back in with Blick black glaze and added sand dunes, tall grasses around the palm trees, birds in the sky, and shrubs. Be sure to paint the bottom of your piece.

Fire item stilted to cone 06-05

CME would like to thank Casey McCowan for submitting this design and technique to share with ceramists all over the world.

 

Article/Project Pictures:
Sunset Silhouette - Sponged Glazes Sunset Silhouette - Sponged Glazes

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