Tools & Talismans #74 Christina Roos

I have many paint brushes or brushes for different medium. For my ceramics I often use big heavy not so expensive brushes for the engobes. Engobes is a clay powder colored with oxides and mixed with water. The engobe is like a thick paint. You paint with engobes on wet clay. When I paint on bisque fired ceramics I use a fine brush. The brush painting on glazed ceramic can include all sorts of paint brushes. A variety of paint brushes is good to have as a ceramist.

The knife is a really important tool for me as an artist. Sharp and good quality is best to cut clay and sculpture things. The knife is also a tool when you draw in the leather hard clay surface. A technique called scraffito.

Elephant Ear Sponges are natural sponges with a flat shape and fine surface, very popular among potters due to the absorbent properties. A good sponge is nice to have when making additional work on the clay i.e. when you want a smooth and moist surface.

Photography is an important tool for me. To see through the viewfinder and focus on one scene or object is interesting and to tell a story about a thing you made is so fun. I also use the camera on my cellphone as a daily tool to collect inspiration for my artwork.

I use my sketchbook daily. It is a must-have tool. I don’t go anywhere without it. It’s not only sketches in it it’s thoughts, ideas, phone numbers. It’s a small world of everything.

I have hundreds of different pens… I love pens! At the moment I like markers.

This Bear my daughter made when she was ten years old (she is fourteen now). She is not a crafty handy person and this was a hard thing for her to finish and enjoy. Sometimes it is good to do things you don’t like and do it well and finish it and learn something about it. It’s a good thing to have new goals that you learn something about. I love the things made by my children. The things they made when they were 4-10 years old have the energy and naiveté that I personally am searching for as an artist.

Christina Roos • Ceramic Artist.