Please note: Currently we do not have Keraflex in stock and are unsure if or when we will have it back in stock.

KERAFLEX PORCELAIN: PHOTO-CERAMICS
 
Graciela Olio




"This material proves a good raw surface to print on and, once printed, it allows handling
both when wet and dry so that the pieces can be constructed...
Keraflex is an innovative material,
very suited to the kind of work that I make...sometimes assembled with other
high-temperature clays and with graphic-ceramic prints.”
Graciela Olio










Graciela Olio mastered the exacting traditional technique of Gum Bichromate utilizing Jim Bennett’s recipe from chapter 7 of Paul Scott’s 2002 book, Ceramic and Print. Graciela's photographic imagery is layered, soft, shadowy and painterly.
After printing her imagery on the Keraflex Porcelain sheets, she cuts and constructs the printed sheets using the Keraflex slurry to join the pieces together into intimate architectural forms before firing them. It is here that the Gum Bichromate process and the use of Keraflex work in per­fect harmony.
One of Keraflex’s greatest strengths is its ability to withstand a cone 10 firing with a minimum of warping – far less than one would expect from any handmade porcelain sheet. This allows Graciela to construct her forms before firing. In the kiln these static forms become so much more than the sum of their parts. Surface imagery and form seem to meld together as these delicate little buildings soften during the firing process.

"Project South is a work in progress in which I use images transferred from Simulcop booklets (Argentinean schoolbooks used to help drawing during the 60s and the 80s) to propose a journey through South America and Argentina.
The drawings of political, hydrographical and climate maps as well as maps showing our flora and fauna, different parts of important cities and ports, and the most important American products show the ideal representation of our continent’s recent past. Project South is a commitment to the future of our region, a work anchored in the ironic game of our memory.

The Home Series, expresses and affirms a place of belonging. A region, Latin America, a continent South America, a country, Argentina, a city, a house, a home. Modest, almost collapsing houses  are a regular sight in the cultural landscape of both, South and Latin America. The ironic word “Home” is ironic in the context of this poverty. The simplicity of the actual dwelling, made up of printed cardboard shows the sad reality we have been facing for years now. There are roofless houses, houses on the verge of catastrophe, houses falling apart and self- sustaining houses. This is a series in permanent construction and its metaphorical development manifests itself as a symbol of resistance.

I have been working with Keraflex Porcelain since 2009 and ever since then, I have not stopped using it due to the fact that the artistic possibilities that Keraflex offers cannot be obtained with any other product.  The quality of my ceramic printing process on Keraflex Porcelain is excellent, because it is a material with good surface quality, both when raw and after firing.

I print on it using different ceramic-graphic methods, such as photoceramics with gum bichromate processes, direct transfer and ceramic decals. This material proves a good raw surface to print on and, once printed, it allows handling both when wet and dry so that the pieces can be constructed. I use photo­graphs, drawings, magazine and newspaper imagery in the creation of my imagery. I modify the material in Photoshop and then print the image onto a transparency. I usually piece together the printed Keraflex sheets when the material is raw and dry with the Keraflex slurry. Generally, I use the large A3, 1.0 mm sheets because that thickness is a bit more resistant after firing.

The printing technique that I prefer is a direct Gum Bichromate process. It relies on the selective hardening of colloids, pigments and either ammonium or potassium bichromate when exposed to ultraviolet light. To carry this out I have to prepare a light-sensitive emulsion, a mixture of a colloid such as glue, honey or egg, also ammonium or potassium bromide, ceramic pigment (underglaze, overglaze or oxides) and water. The toxicity of the ammonium and potassium bichromate must be taken into account. If, however, proper care is exercised they can be safely used. This is not a technique to be used with children.

Once prepared, the emulsion is applied directly on the unfired, bisqued or glazed ceramic surfaces, with a soft paintbrush. When applied on to bisque or unfired surfaces, the surface must first be sealed with a thin coat of glue diluted in water. With Keraflex, it is not necessary to seal it. Then the surface is exposed to light through a negative transparency in contact with the emulsion. The printing is developed by gentle brushing of the surface in cold water. Water washes away the emulsion from the unhard­ened, highlighted areas. In this way, the photographic image is printed and completely adhered to the surface.

If a transparent glaze is to be applied, an initial firing should be made, at 1020-1040ºC so that the glue is eliminated, otherwise it will repel the glaze. At that temperature the image is not completely fixed, so you need to take care not to touch it. The work is then kiln fired to 1280ºC/2335ºF. Once the work is fully vitrified, even if glaze is not applied, the print will becomes unalterable and permanent.

This process is one where no hard and fast rules apply and only experimentation will lead to good results. There are many variants including the ceramic colorants, the colloids, the emulsion coats, the exposure time, the light source and the negatives.

Keraflex is an innovative material, very suited to the kind of work that I make – both small and middle-sized pieces, sometimes assembled with other high-temperature clays and with graphic-ceramic prints.” Graciela Olio

This artist statement contains excerpt's from the article "A New Decade" R Kingston. Ceramics Technical #30 May-Oct 2010 pg.14-19, and additional information provided by the artist to Ceramic ART Cart. Reproduced with Permission. All Rights Reserved.

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Artist:Graciela Olio. Processes/Mediums:Keraflex Porcelain 1.0mm Cone 9, Photoceramic/Laser Decal. Dimensions:Variable. Year:2010. Photography:Hernan Cedola.Courtesy of the artist. All Rights Reserved. More Examples of Graciela Olio's Artwork can be seen in our Keraflex Porcelain Online Gallery.