This week past week we have been making lots of ceramic coasters and trying out some new glazes. This can be very time consuming but we can quite a lot at a time.
To make the coasters first we have to take a large lump of clay. We then wedge the clay to remove any air bubbles, this is similar to needing dough. Once the clay has been wedged it is then put through a roller to create the correct thickness for our coasters.
We then use a circular cutter to cut out each coaster. These are then smoothed and placed ready to have the patterns put on them. We then used a lino cut that I have made to press the coastal design onto the coaster taking care not to press too hard as it will crack the edge. The coastal designs I have made so far include fish, crabs prawns, seahorses, footprints in the sand and paw prints in the sand. The coasters then have to be left for 48 hours to dry completely before they have their first bisque firing in the kiln.
Once they have been fired, the coasters ready to be glazed. This is usually done by hand on a spinning wheel.
The coasters are then fired a second time for 12 hours up to 1050°C. Once the coasters have cooled they can be removed from the kiln and have their felt pad feet put on the bottom.
Some glazes work better than others on the coasters. Particularly the more translucent ones that emphasise the imprinted designs. I have experimented this week with lots of different glazes and its been interesting to see the results below, I definitely have my favourites.
I have also started selling my coasters on Amazon Handmade to have them available to a large customer base. It will be interesting to see if they sell. You can see them at https://www.amazon.co.uk/handmade/Jane-James-Ceramics