Renzulli Fine Art
Working With Clay
Clay

The clay mono type is a variation of traditional monotype techniques. A slab of stoneware clay 3/4 to 1 inch thick is pressed into a firm framed base mounted on a solid support table or bench. The surface is smoothed and leveled with the edges of the frame and is allowed to dry overnight to a “leather hard” consistency. There is no “correct” size: it can be small and portable or permanently situated in the studio. This clay base will act as the “plate” in the creation of the monotype. My current clay plate is 30×40” and is 6 years old. By keeping it covered with wet paper and  plastic drapes it will last indefinitely.

Liquid clay, known as slip, is produced by mixing water and kaolin powder in a blender to a light pancake batter consistency and several coats are then brushed onto the clay slab. This slip also becomes the “paint” by the addition of pure pigments, dry or liquid, and is used to create the image by its application to the clay slab. The final result is a flat slab of clay in which the image is embedded. 

A moistened support, fabric or paper, is placed on top of the clay and pressure is applied using a roller or brayer. The support becomes impregnated with a thin layer of the clay resulting in a transfer of the image.

The resulting one-of-a-kind images have characteristics unlike those produced by any other method. The variety of techniques that can be used in this process is limited only by the imagination and curiosity of the artist.

All the materials used in this process are archival and the pigments share the same lightfastness as other traditional pigments. The finished print can be framed under glass, or given a protective coat of varnish and stretched over a canvas stretcher.

 

The basic clay print has also served me as a foundation for use with other media, also included in this section. These include: Clay drawings created with ink and acrylics, pastel – clay print combinations, and oil pastels.