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Pottery, Clay and Ceramics: Help: Advice on pumice bubble surface finish

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projectspace
Seattle, WA

April 10, 2011
4:47 AM

Post #8484412

I'm trying to create an unglazed tile with a bubbly pumice surface finish. I was thinking of using a sponge, beads, or poking holes, but none of those would make true 'bubbles'.

Attached is a picture of the finish I'm looking to do. Any tips?

Thumbnail by projectspace
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Plants4myPots
Palm Bay, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 11, 2011
6:15 AM

Post #8487023

The scrubby side of this kind of sponge might make the texture you're looking for...

http://www.lowes.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&cId=SEARCH&productId=1086663&cm_mmc=SCE_gps-_-gps-_-gps-_-Tile%20Solutions%20Extra%20Large%20Scrubbing%20Sponge%207-1/2%20x%205-1/4%20x%202%20One%20side%20Grouting%20and%20One%20Scrubbing%201%20Pack%20Bag%202667
mommacat11
Stafford, VA
(Zone 7a)

April 11, 2011
5:13 PM

Post #8488555

what about the prickle balls that fall from trees... I cannot hitnk of the name of them.

deb
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

April 12, 2011
9:20 AM

Post #8490169

liquidambar.
Mixing some grog into a glaze might work.
Plants4myPots
Palm Bay, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 12, 2011
10:02 AM

Post #8490226

Mixing grog in your glaze will probably make it have more of a cement-like texture. Besides, projectspace said s/he wants it unglazed.

Maybe s/he could make some really thick slip, and kind of "spackle" the slip on to make the texture onto a smooth tile? I think if you add enough bentonite to some slip it would get really thick...
azreno
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

April 14, 2011
9:38 AM

Post #8495060

In polymer clay we make our own texture sheets...using a super flexible type of polymer clay, we simply press the clay onto the desired texture, cure it, and voila! you have a texture sheet that is the exact surface you want to transfer. Do you all not do that sort of thing with other clays?
Plants4myPots
Palm Bay, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 14, 2011
9:03 PM

Post #8496732

Pottery clay is quite a bit stickier than polymer clay, azreno. We can just press it onto some things to get textures, but it usually sticks, and can rip or tear when you peel it off the texturizer. If it's made out of plastic or rubber, like the ones available for scrapbooking or cake fondant, we can spray some vegetable oil spray on it so it doesn't stick too bad. I also like to make my own texture mats out of plaster, or out of dried, but not fired, pottery clay. Plaster and unfired pottery clay are sort of absorbant, and malleable pottery clay doesn't stick to them too badly.
azreno
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

April 15, 2011
6:16 AM

Post #8497232

So it can be done, just not as fun or as easy?
Plants4myPots
Palm Bay, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 16, 2011
11:06 AM

Post #8500002

I don't know about it being less fun, but it definitely isn't as "easy". :) Making nice stuff out of polymer clay takes a bit of talent too!
azreno
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

April 16, 2011
1:48 PM

Post #8500239

I think the learning curve is not so big for polymer clay =)
WUVIE
Hulbert, OK
(Zone 7a)

March 29, 2012
7:26 PM

Post #9062600

Sometimes you can find wire-bristled hair brushes in the dollar stores, those are
great for making such textures. Just 'bounce' them off your clay, or dust it with a bit
of corn starch. You can even lay a plastic dry cleaning bag over your clay, and go to town.
The dry cleaning bag is not my idea, but one I love, and well worth passing on.

Hope you'll give us an update. :-)
ItsMeChrissy
Union Grove, WI
(Zone 5b)

April 6, 2012
12:42 PM

Post #9072065

Try this... Get a dowel or old rolling pin and some gravel and/or real course sand. Dip the dowel/rolling pin in glue then roll it in the gravel/sand. Now you can roll this across the clay to create your texture. Maybe test it first on some other clay to make sure it doesnt stick and you get the texture you want. If it sticks you can dust it with baking powder before rolling on your clay so it won't stick.

Note to others...this is cool to do with other things too, corn, dry beans/peas, beads, pebbles, makes great texture and its reusable! If you use a short peice of dowel, drill a whole thru it you can rig a handle to it for easy rolling and it makes a great textured edge on platters/bowls etc!
Anniesfollies
Carlsbad, CA
(Zone 10b)

April 6, 2012
6:46 PM

Post #9072534

Chrissy what a creative way to make texture rollers cheaply. I have lots of old 1 1/2" diameter closet pole hanging around and can't wait to try making different some of these. I'll be looking at the grains, beans, etc. in the grocery stores, and seeds from various plants in a whole new way now. Thanks for a great tip!
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

April 7, 2012
7:43 AM

Post #9072948

Ditto!!!! Thanks, Chrissy!
ItsMeChrissy
Union Grove, WI
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2012
1:27 PM

Post #9073257

Glad you like the idea, can't see what you all make with your new rollers!
ItsMeChrissy
Union Grove, WI
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2012
1:35 PM

Post #9073266

Here's a picture of a smalle plate I made using a hand made roller (this one had real small, almost gravel sized, pebbles glued to it). I actually have this hanging in my kitchen (the hub loves goats -- this is the only one I'll let him have!)

To make this, I used a picture frame (frame only - no glass!) for the form. Just rolled a slab, layed it over the picture frame (which I had sitting on batt), then dropped the batt/frame/slab on the floor so that the slab 'dropped' in the middle of the frame. Then cut and cleaned up the edges, used a rubber stamp in the middle and the roller around the edge to make texture :-) I believe I used white stoneware clay with Amaco, cone 6, blue ruttile glaze.

Thumbnail by ItsMeChrissy
Click the image for an enlarged view.

WUVIE
Hulbert, OK
(Zone 7a)

April 7, 2012
1:45 PM

Post #9073276

Chrissy, I should be cleaning house, but I made the mistake of looking at your posts,
and now I'm hooked drooling. It is all your fault. LOL.

Enjoying everything you make!
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

April 7, 2012
1:45 PM

Post #9073278

Off to the thrift store to look for oval picture frames...LOL!
ItsMeChrissy
Union Grove, WI
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2012
2:38 PM

Post #9073318

I'm glad you like this, the picture frame thing is kinda fun... you can do all sorts of things with the form I've been known to add handles and feet. A couple yrs ago I made some using 4 x 6 frames, added little handles on them.

IMA I hope you find the oval frame, I've been searching for the perfect one for years, found a few but was too cheap to pay full price :-)
Anniesfollies
Carlsbad, CA
(Zone 10b)

April 7, 2012
3:07 PM

Post #9073348

Chrissy so glad you shared the picture! I love the rounded uneven texture and the little pools for the glaze. I was thinking of making long texture rollers but can see that even 2" or 3" ones will be really useful.

The picture frame idea is fantastic. I have an oval frame just the right size that was in the donation box and it just came out and joined my ceramics stuff. Can't wait to try this.

When you drop the frame and clay to the floor how high are you dropping it from, and do you just drop it on the floor or onto something to protect the frame from breaking upon impact?
ItsMeChrissy
Union Grove, WI
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2012
3:52 PM

Post #9073380

Annie...I drop the frame and clay from about waist high (it makes a loud noise so make sure to warn anyone nearby!) I use a wooden batt (any board would do really), frame on that then the clay...drop directly on the hard floor. Have never had a frame break, mostly use wooden or plastic frames (make sure to take the glass/innerd out!)

Good luck!

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