Friday, June 14, 2013

The paper-maker's swap - Notes from Holland
Andrea wrote some nice blog notes on our paper maker's sample exchange.
  Her blog (above link) and her website  atelier28 ~ etching gallery display some of her work,
 AND describe techniques and process. Atelier28 is also on Facebook, of course...and has an etsy shop.      
 Exquisite prints, paintings, etchings and paper collage pieces, oh my! Need inspiration? Check it out!

Happy Creative Hours. Remember ~ Dream and DO.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Resist fire results, and a screenprinting test

resist with underglaze and clear glaze

18" ceramic platter, resist painted turquoise and white

this is what came out of the kiln!

 CONE  04 Diamond clear glaze over very old Turquoise duncan underglaze.

The color in the closeup image seems closer to the actual turquoise,
and also shows the sponged texture a little better, as well as what
 I think is a nice roughness of some of the edges.

AND now for some screen printing experiments! 

Let's try underglaze on top of a pre-glazed tile. 
PART ONE, three steps ~   

First I misted the tile very lightly with water
and smoothed the screen down with a cloth
to adhere it closely.
Use an absorbent lint-free cloth to remove any extra moisture to minimize the glaze bleeding.

This is a RISO thermofax 70 mesh screen.
In our screen image gallery we offer 100 mesh for paper prints which also work with finely milled glazes BUT recommend 70 mesh for glazes and slip.
 You can also email us an image for a custom screen design!

Please let us know if you are ordering for ceramic work.

The glaze used here was straight out of the bottle

For the purpose of this test and considering that the design will only be a background image, the thin glaze was ok.
For better resolution, using a thicker body glaze is better.  (More on that later)


squeegee away! 

Big screens like this 8 x 10 require some care in keeping the screen in close contact with the tile surface.

and here is the unfired result:

Can't wait to get a load done and fill the kiln again :~)
 In case this interests you please visit some of our gallery pages for ready made screens you can try with your own glazes.  Small screens are $5.00 Since we are as excited as you to see what you come up with, we ship promptly via Priority Mail Flat Rate or First Class as you choose.   Or stop by if you're in the neighborhood. We are usually here :~)

Friday, May 17, 2013

resist painting on bisque

Clean the bisqueware well and let dry thoroughly.
Draw or trace your design. I used a 2HB pencil, very lightly.  Carbon paper is fine too.

Fill in the drawing with resist: here we used a latex-ammonia emulsion that is sold for watercolor painting resist.
 Next we sponge painted the entire surface with a turquoise underglaze tapping out from very thick in the center and under the big flower to a lighter dapple moving towards the edges.
Looks pretty funky at this stage!
Once the layers of underglaze dried thoroughly, we removed the resist using a thin wooden skewer to prevent scratching.  The stiff coat of underglaze sometimes wants to chip along the edges as the latex is peeled off, so in some spots I chose to use a razor knife to cut a clean line.
This platter is 16" wide which is too big for me to dip it into the clear glaze so I sponged on 3 coats of clear. This is what it looked like with the first coat; after the third it was entirely opaque.

Once this was thoroughly dry I turned the platter over onto a big clean felt and gave the underside several coats of clear glaze.
and once that dried? Ready for the kiln!


Monday, May 13, 2013

dragonflies and the king of swamplandia

We went for a first swim in the quarry this weekend :)
The weather was warm and the water was cold, which was just as it should be, so we stayed a little too long & soaked up too much sun, requiring aloe applications on our return. Well, on our skin actually.

The dragonflies at the quarry come in all sizes and are a delight to watch as they zig and zag and flit and spiral
tracing unexpected invisible calligraphy.  Each dragonfly has distinctive markings that resemble iconic Japanese crests, under the wing attachment. I think they are samurai groups, defending the world against the hordes of mosquitoes.
Stained concrete casting, my molds. 12" x 12"

We live in Gainesville, aka gator ville...great college sports!  Real gators abound also, even right on campus in beautiful Lake Alice.  
Fortunately for us, there are no gators in the quarry! The water is constantly refreshed by the aquifer, it's not connected to other bodies of water for easy access, and for the most part, the banks are steep. 
  Not good gator conditions. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


and commentary will be posted too.  
The narratives develop as I work and these things had a lot to tell me.

Friday, April 12, 2013


"EZ photo screen making"


  • DIY magic screen making is like flowers:
    just add water and sun.
    works poifickly on fabric, ceramics,
    wood, paper.
    silkscreened dragonflies with fabricmate color pen detailing

    no great investment in materials or tools!

Whether you make arts and crafts for a living or for fun,
screen printing introduces a whole new world of surface design. 
A silkscreen can do anything a rubber stamp or a cut-out stencil can do - and much more. You have the freedom to create your own stencils with either your own drawings or from your choice of clip art images and designs.
You can use your screens with dyes, etching paste, textile paint, oil based paints, ceramic glazes, ceramic and glass paints, latex enamels, acrylics. You can use your screens to print on:
  • Fabric... quilt squares, banners or layer upon layer complex cloth, or yardage to sew.
  • Clothes... vests, scarves, kimonos, kids clothes, t-shirts
  • Ceramics... tiles, cups, bowls, plates and sculpture
  • Glass... etching paste or paint for bottles, glasses, plates, and windows
  • Wood... boxes, trays, chests, tables and chairs
  • Paper... personalized greeting cards, memory albums, journals covers, art collages and hand printed papers
  • Walls... borders, and accents
  • Metal... signs, instrument panels, sculpture
A rubber stamp can’t be made into any image you want in 15 minutes, if at all. Neither will it stamp around a curve or work with those lush interference acrylic paints. A rubber stamp won’t do very well on glass, or ceramics, metal or furniture. They are rarely as large as 8 ½” by 11” and can be rather expensive.
A cut-out stencil won’t do an “o” or any shape with a middle. Unless you’re very good at it, you won’t be able to cut a design to your own satisfaction in fifteen minutes.

Screenprints  do all of this and more. 
Check it out:


Sunday, March 24, 2013


A little dance in your day draws the creative to and through you.
Feeling frozen? Start moving with the Beloved's gentle guide, Gabrielle Roth.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Small Screen Gallery is up!

We are rolling out our line of versatile ready to print silkscreens!
Have a taste ~

Create beautiful highly detailed painted designs on fabric, wood, glass and other surfaces.

You just need a squeegee and the appropriate ink or glaze, etching cream...

it's as easy as stencilling, or easier...
watch the youtube video from Plaid: applying a design to a glass box

(*Move over Martha, we were here first! 

AND of course,  we can make custom designs for you ...

Happy Bunny Days!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Containers, Part I / Buttons and Beads


  It's a fine line between clutter and stash.

I love all my lovely little collections.  Beads Buttons Shells Hardware Softwear Stamps Toys Wishes Blessings & Other Found Objects...  The clutter thing? perhaps  nnnnnnnooooooooooottttttttttt   so much.
Step One:   Get Ready!   
Review the  stash.
How about this cute little jam jar?   A darling thing, kind of little tea-pot  lovely  shape,
    Just Right for Small Useful Things... but it needs some dress-up before it's ready for the show.
 Now Let's forage in the button and bead collection.
hm, several strands of pre-strung beads in black and silver... too small for easy stitching, and the strand isn't strong enough to hold up on its own.  Black/silver, black/white.  Round jar shape.  AHA  yin-yang symbol!

 Step Two:  Get it together! 
Materials & Tools
  • Small clean jar with lid
  • Glue: Aleene’s OK to Wash It, or similar waterproof quick & clear-drying adhesive
  • Buttons - coordinating colors the same as the depth of the lid
  • Beads - two colors of pre strung seed beads.
  •    For the lid shown, we used about 24” lengths each
  •    of silver and black.
  • A coin or button to mark the curve of the design
  • scissors, skewer or large needle to manipulate the beads/buttons

* Optional: Spray paint the lid before working. For this project, that's not really necessary - nothing shows!

Quick-drying WaterProof Glue:
A GOOD Thing!
around the outside edge of the lid.
and place the buttons in position.
Work just a third section at a time
so you can hold the buttons briefly
   while the glue sets enough to hold the weight.


Use a toothpick or small skewer
to help position the elements
and to hold them in place.
When you have finished the
full circle of the edge, let it dry well.

here we go! Run a thin bead of glue around the upper edge, close to the buttons.
A nice bead of glue! No worries -  it dries clear.
Lay the string of seed beads around into it and tidy the circle with your excellent skewer tool.  Take a little cleanup and organizing break   I mean to say,       LET IT DRY!

When the bead line is dry, apply another line of glue and lay in the button border. 
*You may want to work in sections again; the wider line will dry quickly and placing the buttons takes a little longer than the string of beads.

TA DA! -------    Ready for the fun part?

Mark the center with a sharpie.  Place your uber-professional circle-making tool halfway over it on one edge to trace the perfect curve: first on one edge, then the reverse. 

We painted the design in with black and white. This isn't quite necessary on this version
but hey we felt like painting.  er, should I make up some more professional excuse?  ... I thought not...;- We always feel like painting.

OK!  NOW!  More glue, more bead-string wrap. Starting with the point of one of the paisleys, go all the way around the edge, then back along the curving center line with the black beads.
Use the skewer to tuck in the curves so everyt'ing is copacetically inclined.

  • Take a minute here.  clean up glue bits and let it dry. Snip any hanging threads.
Paint one side of the paisley with a nice base of glue. Starting again at the point of the paisley, drop the line of seed beads down and tease it with the skewer to line up nicely along the already-glued line.
 I began with the outer circumference and down along the "S" shape.
At the point,  give the string a little bit of slack. With the tip of your skewer - or even a blunt needle - hold the line at the turning point while you bring the thread up around close again to the line you just laid.

That's the only tricky bit, and turns out it's not as hard as it might sound! At the end of the last lap, lift the string straight up, holding the center with your pointy tool, and slide the last few beads up and off leaving a short tail of thread.   

This is a good time to let it dry again briefly. Start your cleanup. Or start the 2nd color!

String bead is so much easier to use than individual beads!   We use a little tail of the thread to hang over the edge.
We recommend using a bit of masking tape to anchor the starting end while you lay the bead-string into position. Also, making a flag or lock with a bit of tape will keep the string from exploding all over the floor should you chance to drop the string. Not sayin' that's what happened, mind you, just saying...

Repeat the second color as per the first, starting at the opposite point. Use the skewer to tuck the end beads into position. Slide the extras off, and let the glue set before you trim the extra threads.              
ahem.Scissors all seemed too huge for the process, so we used a lighter. Later. 
Away from anything flammable.            *Kids: do not do this.  Moms: we told them not to. 

TA DA!  SHINY!  USEFUL!              :~)  xoxo Judy

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Good morning from chilly cloudy Florida. (North Central is so different from sunny St. Pete! ) Winter is time for indoor scaled, non-toxic activities. Last winter, we obsessed with gel plate printing, using screen inks for fabric, which worked well on almost everything. Too fun! Wow!

In the process, we researched and tested a number of gelatins. Who knew there were so many grades? and ended up with a large bag of our favorite, a 'high bloom' clear version that holds up well for longer than most, and can be re melted/cast a few times.

We posted a How2 here: and offered a couple of workshops that even people with no experience made bright beautiful prints - and plenty of them! Silly us, we didn'tphoto the group but we did take some pix of the results - some of them are in our class description, here: at the bottom of the page.

For the workshops, we created a DIY take home kit...and ended up with extras, which have just been posted here if you'd like to try this without venturing outside ***:~)Hooray for the Post Office, delivers to your door***

Happy Cold Weather Creating!
Love and Kisses,