Slab Techniques

Slab Techniques

Paperback Ceramics Handbooks

By (author) Ian Marsh, By (author) Jim Robison

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  • Publisher: A & C Black Publishers Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 112 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 232mm x 10mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 1 August 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1408110075
  • ISBN 13: 9781408110072
  • Illustrations note: Approx. 110/120
  • Sales rank: 141,145

Product description

Although this is essentially a very simple subject, slabs can be used to make the most basic of forms to the most complex. This broad approach to slab work shows a wide variety of building methods and shows the work of many high-profile ceramic artists in this area. The book explores and explains most of these methods through step-by-step images and text, using a varied range of both pots and sculpture. There are often several techniques that could be used to achieve the same result and this book shows that no one method is correct, but there will be one which is appropriate for the potter, the clay and the firing process. The reader is encouraged to experiment and develop their own ideas. The book covers all the basics, such as making your slabs and joining well, simple building methods, use of supports, creating textures, decorating with slips and ways to avoid disasters during firing. It also looks at many innovative and original approaches, as well as building large-scale pieces and the problems associated with it. The book aims to encourage the reader to experiment and find the methods most suited to them, while fantastic images of finished work are offered to show what is possible.

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Author information

Jim Robison is the author of our Large-scale Ceramics handbook, he is very well-known as a slab builder, and has made many public works using textured tiles and slab constructions. He is also very involved in the Aberystwyth Ceramics Conference and always hosts many of the demonstrations. Ian Marsh is a ceramic artist, photographer and is chair of the Northern Potters Association.

Table of contents

Introduction Foreword 1. Getting Started Clay (Choice, plasticity, colour, texture, grogged, fibres) not to mention preparation, moisture content, temperature, glaze etc. include handbuilding with porcelain 2. Making the Slab Clay preparation, Rolling by hand, Slab rollers, Cutting from the block. Alternatives: throwing on the wheel, pounding out, extrusion based starting point, slip cast slabs, using flattened coils. 3. Construction techniques Looking after the slab (control of moisture content). Methods of handling slabs and turning sheets of clay. Joining methods: (Scoring, water vs. slips, secure stitching, adding coil reinforcements). Angle cutting. Use of multiple examples, not just one method. Simple building approach: (flat slabs, tiles, wrap around tubes, slabs from coils.) 4. Using Moulds and Supports Supports during construction: (building formers, internal considerations, hump moulds, slump moulds. Drop in frames and dish shapes. Detailed moulds (repeats, birds animals etc.) Speed merchant: Use of heat, torch, flame and even kilns to rapid dry elements or all of the work. 5. Colour and Texture: Clay, slips and glazes. Mixed colours into clays. Clay combinations, Slip options (Brush, spray, dip, stencil, resist). Printing metods Creating Textures in soft clay. Tools, stamps, rollers, found objects, surface modelling, using a found surface, textiles, prepare Smooth to Rough: Surface control, cut vs. modelling edges, Scraping and burnishing. Protecting slip and surface patterns while working. 6. Finishing Off Details: Rims, feet, profiles and edges. Use of extrusions. Changing the surface: Stretching, drying and re-rolling, applications of powdered clay. 7. Going Larger Clay preparation. Supports for making. Multiples, Sectional works. Wall murals, Sculptures, Stacking pieces. Special problems: Construction, drying, sections that fit, permanence, mounting and security. 8. Glazing Glazes and Oxides: Application methods - brush, spray, pouring, dipping, stencils, wax resist. 9. Drying and Firing Shrinkage, Storage, even drying control. Warping, cracking, re-wetting clay. Repairs to leatherhard and dry pieces. Use of paper clay for repairs. Supports to aid drying and firing. Coils, slabs, bat wash. Kiln awareness: Moisture release, warming and bisque firing. Glaze firing. Possibilities of 'Once Firing'. Suggested Reading Glossary: Index: