These lovelies, just out of the kiln;
There is a fun technique involved here that I just learned, and that I think I will be addicted to for a while. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but not only is the filigree design a different colour than the mug body, but it’s in relief.
First you paint the texture on, using shellac.
Then you rub the clay gently with a damp sponge. The sponge starts to remove clay from your piece, but not where the shellac is – resulting in a raised design.
I then applied my underglaze. The shellac prevents the raised design from receiving the underglaze, which gave me the two-toned effect.
In the bisque firing, the shellac burns away in the kiln. Afterwards I coated it with a clear glaze, resulting in this delicious, adorable set of mugs. There is actually a big teapot that goes with them, but they came out of the kiln first and I couldn’t wait to blog about them!
It’s a good day for a hot cuppa something because, in other news it’s snowing in Toronto. There is a myth that the Inuit have 200 different words for snow… well Torontonians have different tones for snow, for example;
- SNOW! – Usually happens around mid November. It’s said with delight and pleasant surprise. This type of snow covers the drab greys left behind by October’s splendour, and heralds the coming holiday season. Ice skating, hot chocolate, and best of all, warm knitted items!
- Snow… – Usually said with some exhaustion in the voice, around early January. This snow happens just after the January thaw that always comes along to tease us with thoughts of spring. The holidays are over, your dress pants all have salt stains, you’re dying for a pedicure but feel that there isn’t any point.
- Snow…?! – Incredulous tone of voice to this one, tinted with depression and maybe even mild disgust. This is the snow we get in the long dark eternity of March. We’ve had enough, it’s bloody cold, and damp to boot. Today this is the kind of snow we have. It gets better… a month hence there is a good chance that it will still be snowing, and don’t ask how a Torontonian feels about snow in April.
That makes it all the better to have warm, bright, cheerful mugs like these to wrap my hands around on a day like today!