Friday, December 19, 2014

Tape Lines

A while back I ran out of thin tape, the kind I used for taping lines on mugs this summer. The tape was something my husband had already. It looked like a roll of very thin blue masking tape (painter's tape) but it had a shiny surface, more like electrical tape. 

tape resist mugs (from the summer)

I went to buy some more, thinking I could find it at Ace Hardware or Lowe's but I wasn't able to find it. Since I didn't want to wait and I didn't want to drive all over town, I went to Schuck's Autoparts for car detailing tape. I got two different thicknesses, (I didn't get any flames).

auto detailing tape (resist)

I used the new tape this week and was amazed by how much easier it was to use. Other than the difference in color, it didn't look much different, but it behaved very nicely. It stayed on the surface of the pot without wanting to pull off, I could lift and restick it when I made a mistake, and I could even wrap it inside the mugs easily.

auto detailing tape applied to a bisque mug

The old stuff would act like it was in place and only later would I realize that it was pulling away from the walls because the tension was too much for it. I can't tell if the new stuff bends into place easier or has more elasticity in the tape itself, but either way, I'm glaze I have it. It took less time, and certainly was less frustrating, to apply.

auto detailing tape applied to a bisque mug

The one thing I will change next time is the color. It's hard to see the white tape on the bisque ware mug. However, once the glaze has been sprayed on, the white and the blue both show up fairly well, especially with the light colored glaze.

glaze sprayed over tape resist

I use the tape as glaze resist. I apply it to bisque fired work and then spray on the glaze over the top. The glaze doesn't stick to the clay that is masked by the tape. I can then peel off the tape, leaving a clear line of unglazed clay.

glaze sprayed over tape resist

Since I want the interior of the mug glazed for easy clean up, I can either spray clear glaze or a colored glaze over the first layer of glaze after removing the tape resist. Both colored and clear glazes interact with the initial glaze at least a little. Last time I tried this, I liked the contrasting results I go using this method.

peeling off tape resist

I can also leave the exterior unaltered and the resist lines unglazed. This simpler approach leaves the exterior with contrasting color and texture, though the difference is hard to see in a photograph.

glazed mugs after tape resist (old kind) was removed

This last glazing round, I had two types of tape on my mugs. The new tape worked very well, leaving clear distinct lines with smooth edges, especially with the reddish glaze. The old tape left wiggly edges where the glaze had leaked behind the tape, especially with the gray (Green Float) glaze, which was more watery than the red (Camel) glaze.

glazed mugs after tape resist (old on the left, new on the right) was removed

The rough edges can be cleaned up with a knife, but part of my goal in this glazing method was to add visual contrast without significantly increasing my effort level. The second type of tape was easy to apply and I didn't have to clean up the edges much, so it's the clear winner.

glazed mug after tape resist (new kind) was removed

I only have one mug from this batch out of the kiln. The rest go in Saturday. The glaze below is the reddish glaze (Camel) with clear sprayed over after the tape was removed. This mug was done with the second type of tape (the better kind), so the lines are fairly clear.

Glazed mug after this week's firing

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