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   TECHNICAL NOTES

HAND BUILDING

 

 

  • Hand building is a term that is applied to construction of ceramic objects from raw clay by the artist's hands alone or with the use of simple tools, all without using the potter's wheel.
  • Hand-building techniques are extensive and varied. Among many others, they include altering, pinching, coiling and, as shown here, clay slab construction process.
  • Clay slab construction is an important aspect of hand-building in which clay slabs, predecorated by silk-screening or photo silk-screening, are cut to fit previously-made templates. Each of these formed slabs is then scored and slipped to enable them to be assembled together, or joined, to create the three-dimensional ceramic form that will ultimately become the finished ceramic art object.

  • A clay slab, previously embellished by means of photo silk-screen technique, is being readied for cutting.
  • A a previously designed template is placed on the slab where the cutting will be done.

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  • All the cut slabs are kept from drying by being covered with impermeable plastic until they are ready to be joined and fired.

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  • The clay slabs are allowed to dry somewhat Into their leather-hard state. The separate elements of the preformed slabs are then scored and slipped to prepare them for joining together to form a three-dimensional structure.
  • Scoring involves roughening the edges that will be joined. Slipping entails moistening the scored edges with slip, a semiliquid viscid suspension of wet clay which acts as if it were glue. The treated edges are then pressed and held together until they are joined permanently.
  • Here the cut slab components are assembled to form the base/bed for the teapot under construction, The Tea-Th Fairy.
     

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