Saturday, February 26, 2011

Some links for Maiolica

Maiolica (also known as tin-glazed pottery) is one of those techniques that seems to enthrall so many. When I first started doing pottery over 12 years ago, maiolica was one of the first things I dabbled in. As someone who recreates pottery (not just painting, but the entire vessel), maiolica since it was created, really is more of a decorators paradise. I believe this is why the technique is still being done to this day and that it isn't linked to any one vessel or shape, but it was used on everything from sculpture to plate.

There is a definite skill set involved in doing maiolica as apposed to a potter that does perhaps less painterly pieces. Today there are hobby solutions, companies that make glazes that have created base glazes and the colorants that copy the effect of what was done in history without the lead. Companies like Duncan, Amaco, Hobby Colorobbia (here is a place you can buy all three of those glazes online) have tested and sell over the counter, food safe, low-fire glazes that are bought at local clay distributors or online. Color Me Mine, a chain of stores that you can go in, buy pieces to paint and fire, also can help you make maiolica ware, are nationwide (I believe). Making the maiolica effect is next to simple to recreate nowadays, but it's the brushwork and the designs (and design placement) that really makes a piece more accurate.

Here is a great link to some maiolica pieces at the Fitzwilliam Museum to take a look at if you are contemplating doing some maiolica anytime soon.

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