Making Bleuette Part 3 - Cleaning the Greenware
This week we start the cleaning process, these are all the pieces I poured and soft fired.
One of the main reason to soft fire greenware is that the particles are heavier and will not be as irritating to your lungs. Also when the greenware is not soft fired it is very easily scratched. When it is soft fired it does not scratch as easily.
Use a mask, this is a clay and the particles will stay in your lungs until you die, so do not breathe in the dust! Do not drink anything the dust gets into. Keep your water in a sealed glass, an adult sippy cup!
These are the tools to clean up the greenware. Always use a new blade for each piece, your cleaning will be easier on your hands and it will clean up faster with less damage to the piece.
There are several ways to clean: dry, wet or a combo of both. I do a combo, cutting eyes is great wet, but they cut like butter so if you have a heavy hand your gonna mess it up. Always know your own strength and how hard you really do press down. On the seams wet is good, but if you work up a paste and do not wash it off, you will not know this until it is dry. So always wait until the greenware is dry and reinspect it before high firing.
You must finish the eye cuts, clean off the seams, open the mouth and fit for teeth. Also clean the teeth to fit the head it is going into. Fire both in the same high fire (but not in the head).
Always have the eyes that you are going to use in her, so your eye sockets are cleaned to that pair of eyes, that way they fit when the high fire is completed. The head will shrink about 20% after the high fire and if your eye cuts are off, they will be more off and sometimes nothing can be done and you have to throw it away.
Always take your time in cleaning. It is a long slow process but very important. If you do not have the eyes cut properly you will struggle to get your lashes on. If your eye is opened too much your eyebrows will be off and not on the brow bone area, or placed just a tad to high and she has that surprised look like she stuck her finger in an electric socket!
Use a magnifier at all times to make sure you have a clean surface no pin holes or scratches.
That is all for this week. So until next week have a great one!