Modern Uses For Ceramics
We commonly think of ceramics as art objects and decorations. But ceramics really are diverse pieces of multi-purpose material that are made from burning formed pieces of pottery. This shaped clay started out many years ago being hand-formed and was eventually made with a wheel to iron out any fingerprints or major imperfections.
Make Your Own Personalized Ceramicsby: Tony Luck
If you are looking for a part-time business and think you could make items made of porcelain – not difficult, see below; you may be interested in learning of our experience.
We make greeting cards – personalized porcelain greeting cards! We also make personalized commemorative plates and other items, but in this article I want to tell you how you can build a great little business making greeting cards.
Of course a greeting card is no use unless you can put a message in it, and you can do that by writing directly onto the surface of the china with a special pen that contains a type of paint. We take our cards to a large market and do great business by adding people’s personal messages to the cards. They sell very well. We also sell our cards and commemorative plates via the Internet and on these we glaze the message onto the china – we won’t be telling you how to do that as we don’t want competition!
Our cards measure about 3 x 2.5 inches. You can see a picture of our cards at www.ceramiccards.co.uk. There is a greeting on the front – Happy Birthday, Mom, Wedding, etc, etc. There is also a choice of design – flowers, cute ones like a dormouse, penguins, a hippo, and a pink pig! Inside the card we write the message.
If you want to make cards like these you need to first make a master out of clay. This is a skilled job which you can give to an expert to do for you. The task of actually making the cards is not particularly difficult and we had no training.
Once you have the master you make a mold, again this task can be passed to a company specializing in this process. When you have several molds you are ready to make your cards. Fill with ‘slip’, liquid clay which is available from various suppliers. Leave for about 20 minutes and open the mold and remove the card. Leave until nearly dry, then, with a damp sponge, smooth the edges. Let the card dry thoroughly then gently smooth the flat surface with a fine sanding block and remove the dust.
You are now ready to fire your cards in a kiln. You will need a small electric kiln that can be run off household electricity. The firing takes about 24 hours, most of which is the time taken to cool.
Now on to the glazing stage: dip your cards into a bucket of glaze and allow to dry. Smooth off any runs. Fire the cards in the kiln again.
The final stage is decorating the card. The wording for the greeting and the design are types of transfer known as ceramic decals which can be purchased from various companies. There is a company in the UK that produces a range of wording and ships worldwide – if you need contact details e-mail us. Just soak them in water for a couple of minutes and slide them onto the card. Wipe to remove any air bubbles and allow to dry. Fire in the kiln again and the end result is decorated china just like your diner plate or coffee mug.
The writing inside the card can be done with a gold or silver pen made by Pilot. The writing takes a few minutes to dry and is then permanent.
Take your cards to anywhere large numbers of people gather and set up your stall. You will find you can sell as many cards as you can make. My wife and I have been making cards like this for ten years and the business we built up paid all our bills. We now sell only via the Internet and have added commemorative plates to our range.
About The Author
Tony and Katy Luck have a shop selling thier personalized china. Visit it at http://www.commemorative-plates.co.uk.
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