For me making things from clay gives me a great sense of achievement. To make something so beautiful from such a boring cheap raw material is such a pleasure. It’s really simple to do, but the reason not more people are doing it is you need a kiln. The other materials are relatively inexpensive. However there are more and more people that have a kiln, and you may be lucky enough to find a local potter that will let you use theirs for a small fee. Here is how I make my ceramic plaques…..
So first you need to roll out your clay. There are posh machines that can roll you a nice even slab, but as this is just a hobby I use a wooden chopping board and two pieces of wood to get an even thickness and a good old rolling pin.
Once I am happy with the thickness and have a nice smooth finish I cut my slab into the sizes I want for my plaques. You can use cookie cutters to create hearts or other shapes, or just use a knife to create geometric shapes.
The edges of the plaques and smoothed and any embossing detail is added like the stitch edging detail which I do with a knife. The plaques are then left on the board to dry for at least 2-3 days. I also make any ceramic details like the cut out hearts using sugar paste cutters from the remaining clay.
After the first firing in the kiln the greenware is turned to bisque and is ready for painting.
The bisque is then painted with special bisque paint. I like to highlight the stitch detail the same colour as the additions but obviously that is personal preference.
I then use a ceramic drill bit to drill the holes in the bisque and add any text. You can write on the bisque with pencil or felt tip to act as a guide before using the ceramic paint. Any left over pen or pencil marks will burn off in the next firing.
Once they are all painted, they are ready for glazing.
Once glazed and the embellishments added it’s just the final firing to go!
After the final firing, a piece of garden twine or ribbon add the finishing touch. The finished plaques…
I love these plaques, and when I eventually get my kiln up and running again I’m hoping to make lots more, and hopefully will eventually be able to sell them.
Would love to hear your feedback and want you think of them,