Saturday, March 22, 2008


Following is a brief description of the clay mono type process as developed by Mitch Lyons some 25 or more years ago.

The clay monotype is a variation of the traditional monotype technique. A slab of stoneware clay 3/4 to 1 inch thick is pressed into a firm framed base mounted on a solid support table or bench. The surface is smoothed and leveled with the edges of the frame and is allowed to dry overnight to a “leather hard” consistency. There is no “correct” size: it can be small and portable or permanently situated in the studio. This clay base will act as the “plate” in the creation of the monotype. My current clay plate is 30x40” and is almost 6 years old. By keeping it covered with wet paper and plastic drapes it will last indefinitely.

Liquid clay-slip-is produced by mixing water and kaolin powder in a blender to a light pancake batter consistency and several coats are then brushed onto the clay slab. This slip also becomes the paint by the addition of pure pigments, dry or liquid, and is used to create the image by its application to the clay slab. The final result is a flat slab of clay in which the image is imbedded.

A moistened support, fabric or paper, is placed on top of the clay and pressure is applied using a roller or brayer. The support becomes impregnated with a thin layer of the clay resulting in a transfer of the image.

All the materials used in this process are archival and the pigments share the same light fastness as other tradition pigments.

The resulting one of kind images have characteristics unlike those produced by any other method. The variety of techniques that can be used in this process is limited only by the imagination and curiosity of the artist.

Here are several examples of how these prints can be enhanced and/or manipulated to create a variety of images,

Here the clay mono type (cmt) landscape was enhanced by adding the buildings and trees with acrlyic paint.

Prairie grain elevators...cmt enhanced with soft pastels

Architectural and pastel pencil on a cmt printed on paper

From an oil pastel series...oil pastel applied to a cmt on fabric with the borders still visible.


dog face girls said...

I am so incredibly lucky to own a couple of Bill's works!!


Linda said...

I've never heard of this type of monotype. When you do one next, will you show us an example of what it looks like before you add the refining touches of acrylic or pastel? This sounds just fascinating, and the results you show here are fantastic.