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Slab Techniques
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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:

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Aimed at beginners and covering all the basics It shows a variety of methods for every process Clearly explained and well illustrated Shows work and techniques by a variety of well-established makers

About the Author

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.

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