Saturday, March 8, 2014

Great Workshop Held at the National Art School on Feb 14 for the Artist in Residency Program

Great launch of the fantastic Artist in Residency program involving Cabramatta High School, Merrylands High School and Fairvale High School. National Art School kindly provided their excellent art space and ceramic facilities (THANK you Merran Esson !) so we could run workshops for the students from the high schools on the day. And a special thanks to Rach Kirsten for her wonderful help rolling out the clay and cutting the tiles so professionally!

The Zentangle Tile Project:
Clay was rolled out the day before the workshop on a slab roller. Tiles were cut out to the size of half an A4 piece of paper and stored between wooden boards. Blackwattle Grogged White Raku clay was used, as well as some Keanes White Raku.

During the workshop, students were assigned two tasks: Firstly, they were given markers and a piece of tracing paper and had to draw a simple Zentangle design, using their names as the main design focus. Zentangles are a meditative way of making structured patterns. It is a very easy and effective way of building creative repetitive patterns and designs. The method was created in 2005 by calligrapher Maria Thomas 
and her partner, a former Buddhist monk Rick Roberts, as a meditational art form and their website is:

The next stage of the workshop was for the students to use slips (essentially coloured liquid clays) to paint their tiles. The students were told to not worry too much about how to put the slip on the clay, just select a few colours that appealed to them and brush the colours on. They were free to do whatever combination they wished. These coloured tiles will become the backdrop to the Zentangle design, which will be applied to the tiles via a Laser Toner Decal.

This next images are of some of the tiles drying with the Zentangle designs underneath them. The tiles have to be fired to 1000 deg before a clear glaze is applied.

* Updates on this project will be posted when the works are glazed and laser toner decals made.

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