In a normal year, I would have picked up a new Christmas ornament or two during various trips and travels, but since it’s 2020, I decided to make my own, using the iron oxide printing technique I wrote up in Beyond The Manual:
The text is taken from the song “Julian of Norwich,” whose lyrics are in turn taken from 14thc anchoress and mystic Julian of Norwich’s book Revelations of Divine Love, which is the first book in the English language known to have been written by a woman. The sentiment seemed appropriate for the close of 2020.
The ornament itself was cut out of a quarter inch slab of stoneware clay using a cookie cutter. This glaze is a little finicky and tends to craze (those fine cracks you see), but that doesn’t impact the iron oxide fusing process (it crazes during firing in the kiln, not in the laser). Here’s the bell before I lasered it (center):
This was just the test run; I have a batch of bells ready to etch (and another batch firing today), so this weekend I’ll etch the whole set to give as gifts to family and friends.
That is so dang cool! I really like the quote too.
Your friends and family will love these! Nice design and appropriate quote.
Those are splendid! I love the quote, very appropriate!
I would really like to try a complex design on greenware then left in water for anything not metasilicate let get soft and melt away leaving what was lasered.
Terrific! The quote is wonderful!
Love the completed one. The colors are beautiful.
I haven’t tried greenware yet, but based on the results I got from lasering bisque, I suspect the result would be too fragile to do much with–lasering bisque definitely creates vitrified lines, but they’re not smooth. They’re made up of bubbles and pebbles of glassy material. Without the surrounding bisque, I think they’d fall apart. Results may vary based on clay body; I’ve only tried it on groggy stoneware. A smooth porcelain might react differently.
When it comes to shaping clay, though, my best results so far have come from using the laser to make molds. Even my heavily grogged stoneware is able to take a decent level of detail from a plywood mold dusted with cornstarch. I haven’t tried it yet, but I suspect that doing 3D engraves to make a positive from which to make a traditional plaster or silicon mold would also produce good results.
I was actually thinking Raku clay as it is supposed to take heat shock well. I have done a lot of work with cone 10 stoneware and porcelain and the amount of shrinkage alone would tear the design apart. Even the Raku would need to be rolled very dry or even pressed so the particles were not as far apart so would shrink less. Most engineered ceramics is often pressed at extreme pressures, I had thought to control shrinkage but perhaps there is more. I think that Raku uses a lot of grog as well, and there are fine frits of borosilicate glass sold for glazes that might hold the bits together while hot, but I think a lot of R&D is needed.
Thank you very much! as yours is the first results data I have found and all data is useful.
Making deeply engraved designs for press molds is of course an easy option.
If it helps, here’s a test of various powers and speeds on ^6 stoneware bisque:
As you can see, the result is closer to glass than ceramic.
I’m meaning to write up my findings for various experiments, but we should probably take that to Beyond The Manual.
Ah, sorry @rbtdanforth, I meant we should start a separate topic, not move this thread to BTM. I can move the laser test picture to a new post if it doesn’t belong in MoaGF, but Lasers + Ceramics is a much broader topic that probably deserves its own thread, rather than being buried in replies to this one.