Help! I am trying to create clay monoprints and vessels!

by Jessica Green
(Indiana, PA)

I am getting ready to start my student teaching next week and thought that I could have students create a clay monoprint (of course inspired by Mitch Lyons) then turn the matrix/clay slab into a vessel and have the imagery remain on the slab through firing. I have one major question that I can't find an answer to.

What can I use on the clay matrix that will work on both paper and fire (and not burn out when fired at cone 5) on the vessel. Can I use Acrylic or should I use underglaze and will that transfer onto paper?
Thank you for any assistance!
Jess

Jess,
I've never done mono print with clay before.... however, I checked out Mitch's work, which is, as you say, inspirational. I didn't see any instances where he fired the mono prints or transferred them back onto a vessel.

One thing I can tell you is that acrylic will burn up in the firing so don't do that. You also don't want the paper going into the fire at all. Underglazes might work, though.

It sounds like you might want to try doing all the layering and whatnot on the slab using clay colored with underglazes, stains, or pigments. Then construct a vessel using that slab and then fire the vessel. That is, if I'm following you correctly.

All that being said, I did contact Mitch through his website, so if I hear back from him I'll be sure to share what I hear with you!

Anyway, is your student teaching going to be in ceramics? That would be great! Best of luck and be sure to send me a status on your experimentation.

Steve

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Feb 01, 2012
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Sure can!
by: Anonymous

Steve
I would love to share the end product here! So far my "teacher sample" is turning out nicely! I used red iron oxide in slip and various colors of underglaze for the imagery. The mini print from the clay slab matrix turned out nicely it's very earthy. The vessel is currently drying I will snap some photos tomorrow. I am going to have a gallery opening for the students at the school once we finish in a few weeks.

Jan 31, 2012
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That's Awesome
by: Steve

Jess,
That is such a cool project. Will you please, please, please, do another post here when the project is finished and share some of the work.

I can't wait to see it!
Steve

Jan 20, 2012
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Thank you times two
by: Anonymous

Steve my student teaching will be in k-12 art education I am currently working on finalizing my first lesson which will be with a 3d class consisting of 10th 11th and 12th grade students. My cooperating teacher approved and was excited about exploring Mitch lyons clay mono print technique with students. My plan was to create a pull from the clay matrix using paper then take the clay matrix and have student manipulate it to create a vessel so they come out the lesson producing 2 works of art one on clay and one on paper. My problems came once I started figuring out supplies with my cooperating teacher and she said that they do not have the mason stains so I was hoping to find an adaptation to continue with the exciting process. Thank you so much for all of the information I appreciate all the help as a future educator and an artist I am constantly striving to improve my own knowledge and techniques and network with artists!

Jan 20, 2012
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Thank you!
by: Anonymous

Dear Mr. Lyons,
Thank you so much for the answers. I am beyond thrilled and blessed to have answers directly from the innovator himself! I admire your work and was excited to bring your technique into the classroom during my student teaching experience which begins Monday. I was told that the school does not have mason stain, they do however have underglaze, we can make clay slip (however the clay body I believe is a grey stoneware) and they have ink. so I wondered if underglaze mixed with organic pure pigment (ink) and clay slip would do the trick. If not I can adapt my lesson plan accordingly.
I am very excited to be sharing work from a pioneering artist who also lives in our state! I will be purchasing your DVD and thank you very much for your helpful answers to my question.
Jess

Jan 20, 2012
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Here's What Mitch Has to Say
by: Steve

Dear Steve and Jess,
My hope is that I do not confuse you with my answer to your question "What can i use on the clay matrix that will work on both paper and fire on the vessel. This is what I do. I mix both the ceramic pigments, i.e. Mason Stains, etc. with the organic pigments, i.e. pure pigments, inks, etc., with the clay slip. Using this technique you get both a bright clay monoprint[organic pigments], and when fired, the bright pigments burn out, but the Mason Stains remain to give you the fired color. Don't use Acrylic because of its drying agent, and will dry on the matrix and not release onto the paper. Don't JUST use underglaze because they do not mature till it is fired.
Of course Jess can purchase my DVD The Art of Clayprinting, With Mitch Lyons and get ALL of her answers.
Hope this helps,
Mitch Lyons
www.mitchlyons.com

Well Jess, there it is from the man himself. That makes a lot of sense that he advises using both organic pigments AND ceramic pigments for results on the paper and in the clay. Now I want to get the DVD so I can do it!!

Steve

Jan 20, 2012
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Mono prints on clay
by: Anonymous

Ceramic Arts Daily has a few articles on this. you can search them.

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