Fun with Clay

Mitch Lyons is one of the pioneers of clay monoprints. He’ll be offering a clay monoprint intensive workshop at Grounds For Sculpture Aug. 27. Can’t make the workshop? Visit Mr. Lyons’ website for a slideshow demonstration.

Here’s the basic technique:

First, a slab of stoneware clay is rolled out about a quarter inch thick. After allowing the slab to dry to a leather hard consistency, Mr. Lyons makes colored slips using China clay and permanent pigments. These colored slips are brushed on, dried and rolled into the clay slab, one color over another, building the design with images, colors and textures.

Once the slab is rolled flat, a moistened piece of paper or canvas is placed over the slab. Pressure is applied using a rolling pin to transfer the clay slips onto the substrate. Because China clay is inert and the pigments used are permanent and stable, the clays remain intact for many years.

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