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Ceramic Colorants

Learning how to work with ceramic colorants can be one of the most exciting parts of the ceramic process to the novice potter or ceramic artist. Developing the skills to effectively use ceramic colorants in glazes, slips and clay can really help potters and ceramic artists develop their voices in clay. This section features articles on how to use ceramic colorants in glaze recipes, how to use commercial stains, how underglazes can be used to create bright colors and so much more. Plus, don't forget to download your free copy of the 2012 Ceramic Arts Buyers Guide: A Ceramic Studio Supply Resource. If you're looking for ceramic supplies, glaze materials, ceramic equipment, or clay tools, the Buyers Guide lists nearly 300 companies offering tools and supplies.


Color Splash: How to Make Vibrant Bursts of Color on Pottery Using Ceramic Colorants and Slip

Posted On August 11, 2014 22 Comments

Annie Chrietzberg explains Lana Wilson’s process for decorating pottery with colored slips and shares the clear cone 6 glaze recipe she uses to finish these pieces.


Scratching the Surface: The Terra Sigillata Clay Tile Paintings of Jenny Mendes

Posted On November 20, 2013 17 Comments

Not even Jenny Mendes herself can explain the mystery of how her imagery makes it out of her subconscious and onto her clay tile paintings. But she can explain the technical details of scratching her drawings into moist clay and layering various colors of terra sigillata to create her rich illustrations. That’s exactly what she does in today’s post. Enjoy!

click to enlarge

Ceramic Stains: The Easy Way to Create All the Colors of the Rainbow on Your Pottery

Posted On February 4, 2013 3 Comments

Nowadays, ceramic artists are spoiled. It wasn’t that long ago that getting the colors and surfaces you wanted took a lifetime of experimentation. But because of developments in modern stain technology, we have practically every color of the rainbow at our fingertips. In today’s post, John Britt explains the ins and outs of ceramic stains and gives a recipe for you to experiment with.


Ceramics Decorating Video: Decorating Pottery with Colored Slips

Posted On July 13, 2012 20 Comments

Mitch Lyons returns today with an excerpt from his full-length DVD Handbuilding with Mitch Lyons. In it, he shares some great ideas for decorating pottery with colored slips.


After 30 Years a Potter Changes to a Painterly Approach to His Pottery Surfaces Using Colored Slips

Posted On May 30, 2012 6 Comments

In today’s post, Tim Ludwig explains how he creates his lovely botanical paintings on his pottery. He also shares the recipes for his slip and earthenware clay body.


Creating Nerikomi Blocks: Decorating with Colored Clay Patterns

Posted On April 18, 2012 19 Comments

In this feature, Faith Rahill walks us step-by-step through the creation of a colored block of clay that she slices and uses as an inlay pattern on a platter. This is one of those techniques that is simple and straightforward, but requires a lot of attention to detail. Luckily, Faith covers all the bases for us so that we can plan for success. Enjoy!


Pottery Video of the Week: How to Combine Homemade Customizable Underglaze Transfers With Paper Stencils for a Beautiful Layered Effect

Posted On March 23, 2012 8 Comments

There are many different techniques for doing image transfers on clay and, in today’s video, Erin Furimsky demonstrates one of my favorites. This one allows you to make your own personalized transfer paper, kind of like the rice paper transfers that are available commercially.

Curt Benzle explains how to make intricate patterns with colored clay in today's pottery video.

Pottery Video of the Week: Creating Intricate Colored Clay Patterns for Slab Building

Posted On January 6, 2012 0 Comments
  Nerikomi is a technique in which specific images are created in layers within a tube or “log” and then segmented as cross-sections. These image wafers are then used either in slab building or as appliqué.   Curt Benzle has been using the Nerikomi technique to make super thin, intricately patterned works of art for… Read More »
Three completed forms with applied slip decoration.

How to Use Underglazes for Slip Trailed and Silk Screened Applique

Posted On December 29, 2010 29 Comments

There is no shortage of application techniques using ceramic underglazes. Laura Kukkee creates her decoration with underglazes on newspaper then transfers it to a freshly rolled clay slab. She also builds up layers of different colored slips and underglaze decoration on newsprint to create a very thin slab. Then she cuts the slab into pieces and uses an appliqué technique to apply the decorated pieces to pots. She also demonstrates silk screened and inlaid appliqué.

Andrew Gilliatt’s work combines colored porcelain slip, brightly colored glazes, resist patterns, and simple decals to create pots that convey the fun he has working in the studio.

Layers of Color: Using Different Colors of Casting Slip, Resist Patterns and Decals to Create Graphical Pottery Surfaces

Posted On December 8, 2010 15 Comments

Today, Andrew Gilliatt explains how he arrives at his super fun surfaces by adding color in stages with colored casting slip, glaze, and decals. Plus, he shares his casting slip and a couple of glaze recipes!