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Jan 12

Cuerda Seca Bird Tile

Cuerda Seca means “dry cord” and refers to using a waxed cord to separate areas of glaze.  I’ve used a waxed beeswax cord before, and it’s not the best tool.  Better is to use wax trailed from a jacquard bottle, especially wax with stain added, wax which has been designed for this purpose. Since this is the first I’ve done it, and the bottle had been sitting on the shelf for a while, I had to mix it with a barbecue skewer. Even so, the first lines came out blotchy, and even the first lines on this tile leaked more wax and solvent oil than I wanted.  I’m not happy with the claws.  I do like the contrast of the black wax against the colored glaze.

Something was odd about the texture of this tile (also purchased already bisqued from a ceramics supplier). It felt already vitreous, and the first layers of glaze felt as if they were beading up and rubbing off.  The green actually did bead up, but I don’t know if that’s from leaked oil solvent or from overfiring.

The original color of this tile is apparent in the circle above the bird’s head.

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