Studio Prep and Progress
In one week I leave for Anderson Ranch to take a two week workshop...because I will not be back until the day before school begins, I had a large list of things to complete before heading to CO. I have collected the majority of the materials I will need for my frescos and some of them are on their way to me! I may be able to have samples of the mineral dust shipped to me so I can at least test with it before committing to finding a large amount to purchase. I cleaned an organized my studio and completed installing my wall easel in my space and I am looking forward to using it. The wall easel will be so helpful to my work and make my studio space much more efficient. Fresco, like ceramics, is very labor intensive. I wanted to complete some of those tasks and material preparation ahead of time, so that upon my return from CO I could jump into making. I mixed lime putty and washed and dried my sand.
Lime putty typically needs atlas 3 months to mature before use…unfortunately I doubt the beginning of the school year and the intensity will allow me to let it sit around. So, I wanted to begin mixing it as soon as possible! It can be used before 3 months but the consistency will be more whipped vs. compact and dense and potentially harder to use. I will have to test it out.
I also needed to prepare the sand that I would be using while waiting for mineral dust. In place of mineral dust I can use sand…it will not be as white or have the sparkle that a mineral dust fresco has, but it’s something to begin with! I bought sand from Lowes as well as a construction store…though both of them are Quikrete All-Purpose, they actually have big differences. I am attempting to get in contact with Quikrete to speak to them about this. It could just be that they are coming from different locations…Mike did tell me that the sand will vary on your location and that from which they get their shipment from. The sands will be sifted when I mix materials for the plaster. Different layers require different mesh #’s.
The final task on my list was to create some test tiles to use for testing the clay bodies and absorbencies for my fresco research. I will be testing multiple clay bodies (about 4 at this moment) at various temperatures. There are a combination of low fire red ware (which I am told may work best), a mid range porcelain, and two high fire stonewares. Some with large amounts of grog and others with almost no grog. The various textures will allow the fresco to hold better to the surface. I saved a few test tiles to bisque later after seeing the results from my first buon fresco tests.
I have ordered a glass muller and my starter pigments for painting the buon fresco. The muller and glass will be used to mix my pigments. I purchased the pigment from Sinopia. I have also purchased the tools that I will need for the fresco.
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