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  • Anthea Grob

A private reveal party

Updated: Mar 27, 2022

Using paper stencils is a somewhat addictive process where you get a private reveal party as you pull off the stencils. I try to sponge the stencils down firmly enough to adhere them onto the leather-hard clay so that no clay coatings (slips) cannot get underneath. Then I coat the the whole lot with a couple of layers of coloured clay, I let this dry a little, then I peel off these stencils. I have used a variety of papers for creating paper stencils, at the moment washi paper or "rice" paper as it is called, is my favourite because it is a bit stronger when wet, so it doesn't break up as much while as you pull it off.

The tricky part about this is finding both all of your stencils and all of the parts of them, under the clay coating. If you miss them, you can end up glazing over clay that isn't stuck to what is underneath properly and therefore having something that might flake off. The slip has to be put on at just the right point of dryness of the clay. If the clay has dried too much the slip can be lifted off with the glaze, especially on convex areas where the slip has to stretch more, ie the edges. I have tried a bunch of recipes that are meant to give better results, but in general, the best results seem to come with more simplicity, with either just clay and if necessary additions of pigments/opacifiers or the finest clay particles from a mix of clay and water settled over twenty hours, with the finest particles siphoned off called terra sigillata.

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