Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New Wax Resist Pattern

I love designing new patterns of wax resist.
Creating symmetrical pattern which radiates out from the center of a bowl has always grounded my inner spirit.  I just get lost in the moment and time seems to stand still when I develop a pattern that works for me in this tiny world of the universe where I live.

I often forget how difficult it is to work with wax resist but was reminded earlier this week when talking to a very accomplished ceramic artist who was having some difficulty with the technique so I decided to share a few tips.

First, I would suggest using Axner Wax Resist.  I find this resist to be the best on the market.  I use a less expensive wax directly on the clay body for waxing the foot.
Second, after waxing the foot I dip the bowl in a bucket of glaze to apply the first layer of glaze.  I may dip two or three bowls at a time and then wait only a few minutes before handling them again in preparation for the application of wax resist.  This is very important to only work with a few objects at each time as you need moisture present in the first layer of glaze so the wax does not peel off the surface. 

 I gently use a soft ebony pencil to sketch out the pattern I will be working with since once the wax is applied there is no turning back unless you wash everything off and start over.  Using a bamboo brush, I apply the wax. 

Next and this is really important!  Leave your work to sit for several hours before applying the second layer of glaze to allow the wax to dry thoroughly.  I would say anywhere between
4-8 hours.  You can wait until the next day by laying a light plastic covering over the work which will keep some moisture in the first layer of glaze.

Do not let the wax dry out too much on your brush.  Wash your brush with some soap and water every once in a while and make sure your wax does not dry out while you are working.  Just add a drop or two of water every now and then.

Concept to Creation,
Theresa Yondo

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