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Re: BOOK_ARTS-L Digest - 12 Jan 1998 to 13 Jan 1998

A brayer is a rubber inking roller with a single handle. The frame of the
brayer attaches to each end of the axle that runs thu the full length of
the roller. This frame attaches to the roller in much the same way as that
of a hosehold paint roller, however, the frame is attached at both ends of
the roller and the perpendicular handle is centered on the frame.  IA
brayer is to be griped and balanced like a paint roller, where a
large-sized printer's roller may have handles like a rolling pin (for
lithography) or a set of two perpendicular handles to grip like a large
diameter  leterpress forme roller.

Hope that helps...
At 01:09 PM 1/18/98 -0500, you wrote:
>>Could someone please explain the term brayer?  And before the image has
>>been transferred onto the clay - has it been bisqued already or do you let
>>the toner soak in first and then bisque?  I have not worked with polymer
>>clay only porous, so imagine there are differences in handling.  I've
>>noticed your using the term bake - so is polymer clay baked in the oven and
>>at what temperature.
>Hi, Colette,
>A 'brayer' is just one of those small rubber rollers with a handle, like
>the ones used by block printers to spread the ink.
>I think the posts you're referring to were talking about 'polymer' clay
>(like Sculpey or Fimo), which is *quite* a different animal from regular
>ceramic clay!  Polymer clays are just that, a plastic, petroleum-based
>material, mixed with pigments.  They harden when baked at LOW
>temperatures in an ordinary kitchen oven.  (At the temperatures involved
>in a pottery kiln, they'd just vaporize, emitting toxic fumes...)
>I believe it's the petroleum base in the polymer clays that provides the
>'solvent action' for the toner transfer.
>With ceramic clays, different methods are needed.  You'd have to APPLY a
>solvent to transfer the toner.  I've heard acetone suggested, and I've
>also used a silkscreening material called "Serascreen".  (Both these are
>highly toxic, wear a mask and gloves!)  You place the photocopy
>toner-side to the piece to receive the transfer, possibly taping it in
>place.  With a tablespoon reserved for ONLY this purpose, you then apply
>solvent to the back of the photocopy, and briskly rub it (in a circular
>motion, as if making a block print) over the whole image area.  (Bisque
>the piece first, greenware might break down under the action of the
>solvent and rubbing.)
>Of course the organic parts of the toner will vaporize when you
>high-fire the piece, leaving only whatever inorganic pigments there may
>have been, behind.  Different pigments would give different effects.
>You might want to experiment with oil-paint transfers, to get a wider
>palette...?  (Note that the color of a *fired* pigment may have little
>relationship to what it was unfired, this is also affected by whether
>the firing was in an oxidizing or reducing atmosphere.)
>There's also a material called "paper clay" (not the commercial product
>of that name, though).  It's just a mixture of paper pulp (about 30 to
>50%) with stoneware or porcelain slip.  The paper fibers give the
>greenware incredible strength, you can roll out very thin slabs and
>manipulate them into sculptures, vessels, etc.  The sheets are even
>strong enough to survive a trip through an etching press!  (Which allows
>some incredible embossing and intaglio inking effects to be done.)  The
>paper burns out in firing.
>All this has potential in non-traditional book arts... go wild.
>The book "Ceramics and Print", cited in an earlier post to this thread,
>talks about all of these things in more depth.

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