shellac writing

porcelain with resist writing I’ve finally got around to trying out shellac resist on raw clay. Shellac is made by the Lac beetle – she exudes it, and it has been used for a long time to make a varnish.

I like using old techniques – I have made gesso lined boxes, the gesso – made from rabbit skin glue and whiting – has a beautiful soft surface and even cracks elegantly.

lac beetleAfter some time trying to buy button polish, which I always thought was for varnishing buttons, I managed to find a dusty packet of ‘button lac’, by Liberon, in a local art shop.

button lac The fantastic emporium Cornelissen of course also has it, as well as, amazingly, dragon’s blood, in case you need any for Potions.

resist writingButton polish is, of course, polish made from lac buttons, crushed and dissolved in meths. Painted onto dry clay, it’s waterproof once dried, but will burn off easily in the firing. After writing onto the raw clay using a paintbrush, I can sponge off the clay around the shellac, creating raised letters.

shellac writing on porcelainI’m making multiple tests on small slabs – easy to fire and glaze – but I intend to use the resist on thrown pots. This seems to be working pretty well too – although nothing’s sure until glazing’s complete.

jim gottuso

Jim Gottuso demontrating the technique

There’s more detail if you want to try this youself in these instructions by Jim Gottuso.

piece with Welsh writing Not so many people work with resist, but I’ve had this image of Welsh resist writing on porcelain for a long time. Sadly, I don’t have any more information on it other than the name Kuipers: I’d be grateful for any more information!

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