Monday, 19 November 2012

Fiona's Tile Workshop

Last Wednesday saw the first workshop of a series that we aim to organise and present over the next months as part of our MA in Sequential Design and Illustration at the University of Brighton. We are Katie, Jo, Fiona and Nele, and our idea for the workshops started off with creative get-togethers during the summer months that were aimed at keeping our experimental practice going. 
For the next months ahead, we hope to run a few regular events for our course (such as one on drawing movement and one on low-tech printing techniques) and finish those with a workshop on easy zine-making in the new year. We are all unexperienced in teaching and running events like those, so it'll be a bit of a challenge, but also a fun way to learn and practice. 

Fiona did a fantastic first workshop on working onto raw clay tiles, and has put an amazing effort into structuring and organising it (well done again for carrying all those buckets of slips and water up the 5 flights of stairs!) She showed us 3 different methods: 1) Simple Sgraffito, 2) Stencilling and 3) Printing from cotton cloth.

Sgraffito entails adding one or several layers of slips onto the raw (red) tile. Eventually one can draw with a sharp instrument into the tile, cutting through the layers of slips, and end up with a red-line drawing on the tile. 

    Katie's Sgraffito Tile

Stencilling sounds easier than it is. A shape is cut out of newspaper, dampened, and then applied onto the tile - it has to be flattened completely, otherwise the slip will leak. Wet paper also rips in no time! Then a layer of slip can be painted over the stencil, printing the shape onto the tile. This can be done in several layers.

    Fiona's stencilled Proust armchair

   drying tiles and choosing designs

Finally we attempted the cotton print technique. For that we painted with slip onto a clean cotton cloth, painting one or several layers over each other, being aware that the first layer/ drawing would show on top of the next layer, when printed onto the tile. When the slip had dried a little, the cloth would be placed face down (the painted side down) onto the tile. We then used a plastic spoon to rub the slip through the cotton cloth onto the tile. A bit tricky to do neatly but good fun! Images of the ready burnt and glazed tiles will follow shortly.

    Hannah combined stencil and sgraffito on a triptych

    Marks can be made with a rubber or a sharp instrument.  Carole.

    Nele's delicate marks reach both the white and red layers underneath

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