Tea Party Plaque – Bronte
Using Sir John Tenniels most iconic drawing from the book featuring the Mad Hatters Tea Party our sculptor set to work recreating the characters within the painting bringing it to life in a specially formulated wax material.It was decided to create an illusion of depth rather than flatness. The only artist license was taken was relating to thr flowers which were added to the foreground of the piece. This is a very special heirloom product.After many months of skilful sculpting the wax sculpture was cut into a series of pieces each having a special key to enable it to fit into it’s neighbour in the casting process.A seperate master ,case and working mould were created in plaster of paris for each piece prior to the casting.Liquid fine bone china slip is then poured into each mould and the hollow pieces thus formed were assembled to make the clay plaque. The plaque is then air dried over a month period prior to th initial bicuit firing reaching a peak temperature of 1210 oc over a 48 hour cycle. Following the removal from the kiln the plaque is glazed with a boro -silicate glass coating (glaze) and fired to reach a temperature of 1060 oc over an 18 hour cycle.After glazing ,Tracey Arrowsmith senior artist at Bronte paints by hand the plaque,the first of three times using inorganic ceramic pigments mixed with glass flux. The plaque is issued in a very small edition of 100 pieces worldwide each framed in a special gold leaf applied handmade frame.The glass in the frame protects the work of art.As the colour is fired into the plaque at a temperature of 800 oc it is permanent and will never fade unlike it’s original watercolour counterpart.