My ceramic pins are a lot of fun to make, I originally made a single fox pin for my sister (which I believe I kept and never gave it to her), I received so much positive feedback about it that I decided to keep making them. They always start off as a ball of clay which I mould into the shape of a bunny, fox, wolf or bear with my hands. I pinch my fingers over the nose and push down to make the back flat, this also gives their brows definition.
Once I’m happy with how the face is shaped I set them aside to dry, once dried they can be fired for their first of two firings, this is called the bisque firing. Once bisqued, the piece is no longer clay but ceramic, it is at this stage that I paint them and dip them into a glossy clear coat of glaze. I’ll either use underglazes to achieve the colour of the painted foxes, an underglaze pencil to get a pencil like finish or a combination of the two. Once I’m happy with how they’re painted I’ll glaze them and they’ll go into the kiln once again.
The final firing will go up to 1222.C and the pieces come out (fingers crossed) beautiful and glossy. I can then go about gluing pin backs to them. The pin backs are glued using a two part glue which needs to be mixed up and takes 24 hours to set. This glue can supposedly take 115kg of weight so in theory, these pin backs won’t be able to be removed without some serious force. I let them sit upside down, blue tacked to a piece of card for a day or two and let the glue set up before I take them off and photograph them.
Photographing my products has definately been a learning curve for me, at the moment I only have my phone to take photos with. This might sound silly but I’m better at using DSLR cameras that phone cameras so it has taken me awhile to get used to this thing. Eventually I want to get my own DSLR but for now this will do. There are still some items on the store that need their photos retaken, I need to find time for that!
Taking photos is always fun because I can almost guarantee that my cat, Tandem, will turn up and demand attention. If attention is not given, she will climb into the light box and make me laugh. I love that cat.
Once the photos have been taken and brightened and resized in photoshop, they go on the website and the pins are ready to be sold.
I hope you liked this post, I hope it inspired you to make something awesome. If you’re on twitter my handle is @snailprophet, I’m always keen to see what people have made!
Have a lovely week and remember to be kind to yourself.