Three affordable tips
Ceramics can be produced in several ways. You can press clay in molds, hand build or merge slabs. Depending completion or decoration it can be necessary to smooth the surface as best as possible.
If you intend to use slip on the finished form, it’s best not to smooth the surface too thoroughly. When the clay molecules are pressed too tight against each other the engobe will not attach very well.
On the other hand, if you plan to put your work in the smoke kiln, it is better if the surface is polished. The smoother the better.
Tip 1 costs nothing, after all
we use plastic cards all the time
An expired bankcard, an access card to the gym or a gift card of the perfumery: when I check my wallet I have numerous cards I all got for free and are of no use. They’re really handy to smooth the clay surface with.
Since I have plenty of cards, I have cut several in shapes for specific projects.
And another tip – not for preening, but the opposite – I cut some with pinking shears to roughen the edges. I need those when I am building with slabs.
This works better than a mirette, because you can bend the card
Tip 2 costs a little, a tool I use a lot
One of the beads has a diameter of 3,5 cm and the other one of 5 cm.
With a wooden bead you can rub the clay into a mold, thus making both the inside and the outside clean and slick.
I used thick iron wire as a handle, until I got an old-fashioned washing brush from a friend. The stem fits perfectly around one of the beads.
Tip 3 – second life for failing light bulbs
In the beginning of my clay days I used a spoon to polish the skin of my ceramics and hated the metal stains that emerged.
Now I use a broken light bulb (not really broken, but just not functioning of course).
I have several kinds, so there is always a lamp that fits the surface.
These gray spots arise when polishing with metal objects
Are these helphful tips for you? Please let me know in the commentbox below.