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How to Give a Finishing Touch to Your Ceramic

Aug 17, 2007
Once you finish modeling the clay in your desired shape, the last and important job is to give a finishing touch. This will give your model it actual looks. So it is very important to know how and what tools are to be used. This article will guide you in solving your problems and giving your model perfect shape.

For decorating purposes, you will need several soft-hair brushes with which to apply colors and glazes. These can also be used for applying liquid clay (or slip), for mending and general modeling or shaping purposes. The brushes can be of average quality, such as imitation camel's-hair watercolor brushes. Both pointed and flat-tipped brushes should be in supply. Numbers 3, 5, 8 and 10 will serve almost all requirements.

Wooden modeling tools also simplify the shaping and decorating of a clay object. It is easier to push the clay into rough form with a mallet or a block of wood than with the fist or the heel of the hand. After the roughing-out has been completed and the large masses are shaped, more detailed modeling begins. This calls for a few wooden modeling sticks about 6 to 8 inches long, with thin, flat blades. The blade ends are used for cutting, smoothing and shaping surfaces and for welding fine lines. The round ends are used for welding coils together and for all-around modeling and shaping.

A scratch-point is helpful in etching designs in a clay body. Almost anything with a sharp point can be used effectively an orange stick or any piece of doweling which has been sharpened to a point. You can, if you wish, buy metal scratch-points in most stationery stores. These will fit into any penholder. If you want to do graffiti work decorations formed by cutting or scratching through an outer coating of slip to show the clay underneath a scratch-point is a handy implement.

As you progress and want to try new decorating methods, you'll probably attempt slip-trailing, a method by which you achieve designs in relief. Slip-trailing is much like decorating a cake with the words "happy birthday". A hand irrigating syringe with a hard-rubber nozzle and a bulb can be used for this technique. Cost is less than a dollar in the local drugstore.

Wire-loop tools always find their way into the ceramist's workshop because of the varied uses to which they can be put. Again, they are valuable tools for carving sgraffito designs. Also they are used for smoothing the surface of pottery and sculpture, especially for cutting down high places and for hollowing out hand-shaped figurines before firing. Select three or more loop tools of sizes varying from 8 to 10 inches long, and with different shaped loops.

When working with molded green ware, you will need a fettling knife and or an elephant sponge to sand off the mold marks and to smooth surfaces and edges Cellulose sponges or fine sandpaper car also be utilized.

Now you can save a huge amount of money by creating you own made decorative items, shaping and designing by you as per your taste.
About the Author
Mitch Johnson is a regular writer for http://www.curtains-n-drapes.com/ , http://www.ezceramicsguide.info/ , http://www.myceramicstips.info/
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