"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
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.
Click to visit Graciela's WEBSITE (So you can continue browsing our site, this link will open in a separate window)