Wax Resist Test by Anthony Kling

This project was a test to see if the laser cutter could be used in the application of the wax resist technique on ceramic bone dry ware. In this test ceramic bone dry ware was coated, with a brush, in a layer of wax with a low melting temperature commonly used for traditional wax resist applications. Two sets of images were etched into the wax just deep enough to burn away the wax allowing for a ceramic wash to stick to the ceramic surface and for the wash to resist the adjacent wax. Both sets of images were black or white with no grey tones. The arrows were solid black shapes and the image of a person was halftoned.

The above image shows (from left to right) a bone dry piece with wax resist on it, a bisque piece with the wash fired and a fired piece with a semi clear cone 10 glaze over the wash.

The test reviled a couple of notable results. First application of the wax needs to be extremely even so that variations in its thickness do not prevent the laser cutter from etching all the way through the wax. To achieve a more consistent coat a spray gun could be used to apply the wax. The second useful piece of information discerned was that there is a limitation to the amount of detail that can be etched into the wax. Because the wax has a low melting point, when a lot of etching takes place in a small area, heat builds up and destroys the detail in the etching of the wax. Despite this heat sensitivity a fair amount of detail can be achieved (as seen in the picture).
Project created by Anthony R. Kling.