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Old 03-02-2012, 10:34 PM
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Koo Schadler Koo Schadler is offline
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Default True Gesso on Ceramic

I have a student who wonders about applying true gesso on ceramic sculpture so she can paint egg tempera on top. Conservators as far as I know consider wood based supports requisite for true gesso (to be archival) and I tend to follow their suggestions. But I'm curious what others have heard or tried about TG on ceramic.

Thanks,

Koo
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:07 PM
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Salamander Salamander is offline
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I have done this and on stone as well. Your student may want to seal the ceramic first with RSG before the gesso if it is porous clay.
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:26 PM
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Koo Schadler Koo Schadler is offline
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I'm glad to hear someone has tried this, Salamander. A few more questions for you... Did the gesso behave any differently on the ceramic? Or the paint atop the gesso? And how long ago did you first try this (i.e. how long have the pieces survived without problems?) Have there been any problems?

Thanks,
Koo
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:49 PM
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the ones on stone still look good after 6-7 years, BUT silverfish have had their way at parts of it. I don't own any of the ceramic ones anymore. The handling was best when the more porous clay ( eg. terra cotta )was sealed more thouroughly. Like traditional surfaces, the smoother the substrate the more traditional the look of the finished painting.
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Old 03-15-2012, 01:42 AM
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Koo Schadler Koo Schadler is offline
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Hello All,

I just got this reply from George O'Hanlon at Natural Pigments in regard to this question...

"There is no reason to think that egg tempera and a chalk or gesso ground does not perform well on any porous, rigid substrate. In fact, this system may actually perform better on rigid substrates that are not subject to deformation caused by changes in relative humidity, which is a problem with wood substrates. Unglazed ceramic substrates should make a suitable support for gesso or chalk grounds. What makes wood an excellent support is that it is lightweight, can be readily formed to a wide variety of shapes and sizes, it is porous and relatively rigid. The major fault of solid wood is that it is hygroscopic—it deforms unevenly in its dimensions due to changes in relative humidity. It is also subject to deterioration from pests and oxidation. So, no wood is not the ideal support, but it is a good choice. There are no ideal supports, simply different choices for the circumstances."

George O'Hanlon
Technical Director
Natural Pigments
www.naturalpigments.com
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Old 03-15-2012, 02:03 PM
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Great! I had a feeling there was no problem. ceramic doesn't mold or rot either as wood could.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:04 PM
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Default True Gesso on Ceramic

Koo, you might try asking Elizabeth Berdann. When I asked her about her surface on some of the pieces in the show you two shared (last yr.?), she mentioned that she was working on ceramic disks that she has had someone make, specifically for her to paint on with egg tempera. I don't have more details than this, but perhaps you could email her about it.

Mona
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