PC SUBSTRATES: GLAZE PAINTING
Robin Hopper


"Of all the new graphic possibilities in ceramics that I have found and documented over fifty years
 as a potter and ceramic researcher,
PC Substrates ranks at the very top of the list."
Robin Hopper


Artist Robin Hopper has pioneered the use of PC Substrates in ceramic art and has been instrumental in introducing this material to the ceramic art world. He personally introduced many of the artists featured on this site to the material. These artists proceeded to develop new processes on PC Substrates in their own unique signature styles. As we see from looking through the images on this site, these materials can be approached with a paint brush or a laser, or in the case of James C. Watkins work – both simultaneously.

Although the use of advanced ceramic substrates in art is still in it's infancy, and these clay bodies may not yet look or feel familiar to us - Keraflex Porcelain and PC Substrates belong in every ceramic artist’s studio, and simultaneously offer ceramic artists something new, and something as old as time itself.

Robin has taught a number of workshops on our PC Substrates, and in 2010 wrote an article for Ceramics Monthly on his early achievements on the material (This article is available to download on the Books/DVD's page of this site)
More examples of Robin's PC Substrate work can be viewed in the site PCS gallery. Below he discusses the wide variety of surface techniques that he has discovered are possible on PC Substrates. As Robin Hopper famously suggests “Try it and See”

"An amazing new material that opens up an inexhaustible range of potential for the graphically capable ceramic artist.
Just about anything that you can do on paper, canvas, card, board or vellum can be done on PC Substrates™. The major difference is that the result is waterproof, washable, and permanent. Paint or draw with ceramic materials, fire in just about any method at a variety of temperatures and explore the incredible range of possibilities. Use with combinations of Conte´, underglaze pencils, underglaze crayons, pastels and underglaze pens for a full range of drawing processes.

Firing PC Substrates to above cone 2 will make the drawings permanent and smudge-free, waterproof and, since the PC™ sheet is translucent, may also be lit from behind. Can be fired multiple times with no structural weakening.
More opportunities can be achieved by applying textured or colored grounds that can be applied and fired or sintered in place at about 1000°C. Other glazes may then be applied and scratched through to obtain results similar to etchings and engravings.
The sheets may be used with China paints, lusters, and decals at the low end (cone 022) and up to cone 10 at the high end, in oxidation or reduction depending on methods and materials being used.

Seeding of crystals is easy on the flat-fired surface, allow a thick enough glaze matrix to develop macro and micro crystals.
Surfaces generally attributed to Raku, Salt, Wood and Soda can be produced on the flat PCS™ sheet, providing various avenues for development."

Of all the new graphic possibilities in ceramics that I have found and documented over fifty years as a potter and ceramic researcher, PC Substrates™ ranks at the very top of the list. It gives the ceramic artist access to drawing, painting and printmaking with the sensitivity of other art materials and the permanence of stone."
Robin Hopper

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Artist: Robin Hopper. Title: Prunus Persica Tryptych. Materials/Techniques:PC Substrates™, Black/Bronze Pigment Glaze, Gas Fired in Reduction to Cone 10. Chrome-Red Glaze applied by Trailer and Fired to Cone 010 in Oxidation. Dimensions:22"x11"x.040" Year:2010. Courtesy of the Artist.