ISSUE 2 | APRIL 2017
THEÂ REGIONAL Start making NOW!
CERAMICS SOUTHERN AFRICA
DEAR MEMBERS, Thank you for a fabulous turn out for our Toni Pretorious Porcelian workshop. I have included ,in the newsletter, some of her advice on working with porcelain for those who could not make the workshop. Our Regional Exhibition is just around the corner. It opens on 23rd May 2017. We will have our normal ‘art for art sake’ section as well as a Plate, Mug ,bowl and platter section. The Regional is the time to showcase your work in a group exhibition so don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity.
A reminder that we are looking for sponsors. Can members help? We have Professor Ian Calderpreviously of the KZN University and Paul Mikula , a well known Durban Architect and sponsor of the arts as our award judges and selectors. Lisa Ringwood, an award winning Cape Town artist has accepted our invitation to be our invited Guest Artist. We have lined up some interesting workshops for you for 2017. See the timetable in the newsletter. Some dates have not been finalized yet.
50 Your Regional Exhibition is approximately only
Â days away.
We hope you have already started making art pieces and functional pieces for the show. We are having a MUGS,PLATES, BOWLS AND PLATTER section as well in order to boost sales for our members. Donâ€™t leave it to the last minute-start making nowpottery is fun -go into your studio and create. "The gateway to success is failure."
CERAMICS SOUTHERN AFRICA
TONI PRETORIUS'S WORKSHOP TIPS OBSERVING THINGS: HOW TO PERCIEVE AND RECREATE SHAPES, TEXTURES AND TONE IN PORCELAIN
UNDERSTANDING YOUR MEDIUM •Texture/consistency suitable to application: • Small piece with fine detail -Smooth clay with fine/no grogg produces accurate/realistic effects • Also consider: Size, Finish, Firing method, •Different stages and which effects can be achieved when: •WET/PLASTIC –Good for shaping •LEATHER HARD (EARLY) –Good for refining shape and adding/moulding prominent features •LEATHER HARD (MIDDLE) –Good for paddling, finalising shape, impression textures, carving, incising, laying down tracks for scratching •LEATHER HARD (LATE) –Good for scratching and final bits of carving and scraping •GREEN –Good for smoothing scratches and neatening overall •Use your hands to control the drying process
PORCELAIN PRO’S AND CONS THE GOOD •Composed of tiny particles, extremely smooth •Can be manipulated even when extremely thin to achieve translucent, delicate forms •Takes variety of marks easily •Reacts uniquely to tools made of different materials •VERY SPECIAL!
THE NOT SO GOOD •Low plasticity •Shorter than many other pottery clays •Cracks and deforms easily •Optimum density is only achieved at near melting point •Takes getting used to •Not good at handling surface tension •Allows you to make super fragile pieces pieces
CERAMICS SOUTHERN AFRICA
WORKING WITH PORCELAIN When in the late stage of leather-hard it tends to break very easily, support on as many spots as possible when working to distribute pressure. •Wets very quickly, small changes in the content of water can produce large changes in workability carefully control water use depending on what you are doing. •Practice and experiment –see which techniques and tools produce which effects when. •Keep extreme whiteness in mind –keep a clean work space. •If adding other materials make testers as porcelain reacts differently to other clays. •Decide between the importance of shapes and translucence, SA porcelain tends to slump at higher temps. •Prepare for high volume of shrinkage (sometimes erratic due to water content).
" CREATING THE ILLUSION OF REALITY" By Toni Pretorious
Don’t try to copy every single mark –get a suggestion -sometimes you have to make it up…convincingly
• Collect references to use when this happens • Choose focal points where you push the realism to carry the ‘grey area’ • Collect a variety of tools and objects to use to recreate different textures, marks and effects • Don’t be afraid to ‘tweak’ reality or combine different realities • Look really closely at things and make sure that you always have good quality references to look at MASS PRODUCTION • Consider making plaster moulds of basic shapes • Always make more than you need to allow for breakage • Working in production stages works very well because it allows pieces to ‘sit’ while you work • Once you get to know porcelain it is relatively easy to identify the stages you need to do certain work, make sure that you have pieces at various stages in the drying process so that you don’t have to ‘sit’ and watch it dry
TIPS •Stains easily, especially with fluids •Surface dirt washes off easily •Does not handle shock/impact well •Keep the purpose of your piece in mind: avoid fragile protrusion on functional ware, consider working parts like holes and joints, work with limitations like shrinkage and warping in mind •ENJOY!
Fired-Up Ceramics Southern Africa KZN Region newsletter