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airbrush masking; a

updated wed 30 jun 99


Nan Smith on tue 29 jun 99

Dear Robin:

Stencil materials for airbrushing ceramics are hard to come by. I do
airbrush and have used a variety of materials for different purposes. You
might try vinyl sign material. It it thin self sticking and water resistent.
Check with your local sign shop.

You might also want to take a look at "Resists and Masking Techniques" by
Peter Beard, an A&C Black publication available through The Potter's Shop.
There is a section on airbrush in the book.

Best wishes to a fellow airbrusher,

Nan Smith
University of Florida

Date: Mon, 28 Jun 1999 09:32:32 EDT
From: Robin MacGrogan
Subject: Help with tricky airbrush masking + a tip

----------------------------Original message----------------------------
Hi folks,
Our move to the Ozarks is complete, studio set up, garden doing well. Now
to solve a long time problem...

I've been doing complex designs using an air brush for a dozen years. I've
stuck with simple forms... mostly large platters... to accomodate the
nature of my masks and friskets. I have tried so many times to figure out
how to do what I do on the inner curves of bowls, outside of curved
pitchers, etc. I have failed to accomplish what I desire.

I need help finding a material for making a re-usable mask to ideally cover
the entire inside of something like a bowl. My designs are too complex to
piece together with little bits of mask, or to paint on resist for every
piece every time. I'd love to sell pieces for $650 each on a regular basis
to cover my time, but that's not reality! I need re-usable masks. The mask
must be able to be cut with an exacto, not too flexible or thick, and mold
to the curves. I'm willing to throw exact sizes to accomodate the masks.

I've tried paper mache, rubber tires, tried slumping plastics with a heat
gun, pleating and taping together frisket material... none of these work.
Making little single design friskets out of the pouring end of plastic
bottles works great! Just use a heat gun and weld the design (cut out of
plastic) on the neck. Cut the bottle short. Not only does it mask
perfectly, it catches all the overspray. Doesn't solve my problem though. I
need a continuous pattern.

I'll greatly appreciate any suggestions!


PS: The Ozarks are hot and gorgeous but I've NEVER seen all the bugs in my
insect book in one place at the same time before! My dedication to organic
gardening is being tested!
Nan Smith, Professor
Area Coordinator Ceramics Program
School of Art and Art History
302 FAC
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611
Office: (352)392-0201, Extension #218
FAX: (352) 392-8453