While mounting the plate for shelf display, I held both the wax and plate at exactly the best angle to create this photogenic crack. Dammit!

platecracked01

platecracked02

The break goes through the plate completely, but the thick layer of seal on the front of the plate is still intact. And thus the value of testing is demonstrated.

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Tonight was spent arranging and shooting a diorama of Herakles and the lion. I cannot lie, it was a lot of fun.

figurine01

figurine02

The first staining test went well; I had not anticipated the amount of dust that got kicked up, but it was easy enough to blow it off the work surface. I used a sanguine conte crayon to lay down the color, then brushed on a PVA-based sealer.

The dry, clean plate:

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Just the crayon pigment:

plate05

After the seal dried (NB: this is labeled as a matte seal):

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The main problem I have with this technique is the poor contrast between the inscribed letters and the flat surface.  I have a few other ideas for laying down the pigment, as well as inlaying some sort of color into the letters, to try out. We shall see.

I inscribed the first test using a white terra cotta clay and an large (for an awl) blunt awl. Laying one side of a ziploc bag down over the clay to manage the stuff dredged up made me feel clever.  Here is the plate in its current state:

plate01

Here we see the plate and accoutrements:

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Detail; note the texture in the inscribed areas:

plate02

The plate will have a day to dry; then the glaze!