‘Moore’ on Henry…

Henry the moon gazing hare has had a busy time recently. He’s been dried out, fired in the kiln, (thankfully not cracking, or exploding!) and finally been decorated. The painting process is tricky to say the least, and I have a new appreciation for ceramics. The first thing to do is to select your colour. This is made all the more tricky as the pre-fired powder that is used to make up the glaze, is different to the colour it will eventually be. Similar to conventional painting you use a measured amount of base powder, and mix with water to get a milky consistency. That is where all painting experience I did have went out of the window. I had a design in mind, (typically for me I’d chosen a difficult one…) and set eagerly to work. Trouble is with painting pre-fired ceramics is, as soon as the brush touches the clay surface it sucks all of the moisture out of the paint and looks like you’ve been painting with sand! The trick is to use a very liquid-like mix so you stand a good chance of it looking remotely how you wanted it too. Some trial and error was naturally involved but buy the time I got on to use a different colour I think I had got the hang of it. Sort of. The final stage in the painting process is the glaze dip. This is a milky/creamy substance that your completed ceramic is dipped in to and seals the surface. This particular one dries clear and will give him a glossy new coat. After one final trip to the kiln he’s finished!


About arlingtoncourtblog

Welcome to my blog! I've been keeping it to document my training as a Conservation Assistant for the National Trust at Dyrham Park. View all posts by arlingtoncourtblog

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