My Studio

Recently I have become obsessed with Elizabethan Portraiture especially the work of Nickolas Hilliard. I have painted porcelain tiles with Oxides and lustre as well as using inks and bleach.
I then decided to create these 2 sculptures. They are made from terracotta and a white slip was applied to cover their faces. After a bisque firing, i went on to apply oxides. Then finally a matte earthenware glaze. This is where it went wrong. Firstly I painted it on and it was too thick. I tried to remove as much as possible hoping it wouldn’t show.

I then proceeded with the earthenware firing. The result was a disaster. They looked as if they had been covered in icing sugar.!!! Maybe they needed a higher firing? So in they went again to a higher temperature. I even used my Dremel to grind off some of the glaze.{ Dremel tools and accessories are another story.} So I am left with two heads covered in white glaze. What to do?

A while ago I bought some bronzing powder to create a bronze effect. I wasn’t completely happy at first as it was too uniformed in colour and put the test piece to one side. As it was mixed with PVA it just washed off anyway. Then in a moment of [what if], I thought what about using shellac. I had a large bottle so mixed powder and shellac together. I tested this on a piece of porcelain and it didn’t rub off. I was able to colour the hair and beard with this. It has a slight shimmer effect. I also added touches of lustre to create the Elizabethan opulence. Elizabeth1 and William Dudley were finally created.