Banner: Porcelain Grace, Meryl Ruth, Fine Art

 

  MARKET FRESH MUGS, DESIGNER CERAMIC MUGS


Representative image of Fresh Market Mugs with corn and tomatoes.
  • This series of ceramic mugs emanates from a commission to produce a family of unique vessels, limited to surface designs with references to vegetables. They are constructed in different shapes and sizes by wheel-throwning stoneware clay.
  • For design embellishments, I initially experimented with silk-screening images on thin Keraflex porcelain tiles for lamination onto the outer surface of stoneware clay.  Underglazes were first applied to the exterior surfaces. The interior surfaces were sealed with black glaze. Outer surface underglazing was then done in preparation for lamination of the previously silk-screened tiles. Bisque firing to cone 06 followed. Imagery of corn rows was transferred to one side of the flat tiles by means of a nine-part silk-screen process, each step representing a different color. The corn images were cut out of the tiles for lamination purposes. When nearly bone dry, these flat segments were rewetted so they could be reshaped to fit the curvature of the mug onto which they were to be laminated without impacting adversely on the silk-screeened image or on the integrity of the clay. The curved tiles were affixed to the surface of the mug by the score and slip method, using special slip designed for secure bonding of the Keraflex porcelain to the glazed stoneware surface. These works were refired to cone 10, completing this initial series. After completion, I was not completely content with the "feel" of these mugs in the hand as functional, utilitarian vessels. This approach was, therefore, abandoned.
  • Further experimentation was done to make the mugs larger. They were thrown with more clay (1.5 lb instead of 1.0 lb each) to provide heft. They were embellished with white glaze and decorative custom-made ceramic corn and tomato decals permanently fused to the mug surface by high-temperature kiln vitrification.
  • Other mug sets were designed with a deeper blue glaze background and cherry decal embellishment.
  • More were made with a blend of images of both maize and tomatoes on a white background. This blend was intended to try to combine background and foreground to achieve greater subtlety.
  • Date: 2012.
  • Sizes vary. They average 6.0" high x 3.0" wide.
  • Commissioned works.
  • Sold.
  • Contact for information on a commission for replication or new design.

 

 


ENLARGED VIEWS

 

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CREATIVE PROCESS

 

 

 

Beginning construction phase of mugs with unique wheel-thrown shapes and sizes.

  • The preliminary set of mugs is configured from stoneware clay, each uniquely designed. They are wheel-thrown in various shapes and sizes.
  • Trimming the undersurface is done to give each a smooth, substantive base upon which to stand (see Technical Note: Trimming for details).
  • Two different blue underglazes are applied to the outer surface; black glaze (not shown here) seals the inner surface for waterproof functionality.
  • Bisque firing is done to cone 06.

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Silk-screened images of corn rows are transferred onto porcelain tiles in a nine-color process; five colors are completed here.

 

  • Silk-screening is undertaken to transfer images of corn rows onto the surface of flat porcelain tiles.
  • A nine-part color process is used for this purpose. Only five colors are completed at this intermediary point.

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The nine-color process of image transfer is now completed. 

 

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Previously silk-screened curved porcelain tile is laminated to the surface of the mug using the score and slip method. The slip for this process is specially-formulated to ensure permanent bonding of porcelain tile to the glazed stoneware surface.

  • Previously silk-screened curved porcelain tile is laminated to the surface of the mug using the score and slip method.
  • The slip for this process is specially-formulated to ensure permanent bonding of the porcelain tile to the glazed stoneware surface.
  • As remarked earlier, this approach was abandoned because the mugs had insufficient heft to be fully functional.

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Series of nearly completed, fully embellished mugs.

  • The newer ceramice mugs are also wheel thrown of stoneware clay.
  • Underglazes are applied to all surfaces prior to bisque firing at cone 06.
  • Instead of silk-screening tiles for lamination, however, custom-made decals were attached to the surfaces.
  • They were fused in place by vitirification at high cone 10 kiln temperature.

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Further enhancement of design.

  • Refiring the mugs completes the process of creating these ceramic mugs.

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Another mug with tomato images.

  • Another design for a vase is made with tomato decals.

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Decals applied to form cherry decorated mugs.

  • Custom-made ceramic decals of cherry images are applied to the surface of another set of mugs prepared with purple-colored underglazing.
  • Kiln firing vitrifies the decals to fuse them with the surface of the preformed mugs.

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Blended images of maize and tomatoes decorate this set of mugs.

  • Another set of mugs is decorated with blended decal images of both maize and tomatoes on a white glaze background.

 

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